Breaking the spell by Song List Rat

Erin Rae / Courtney Marie Andrews at Fremantle Arts Centre




  1. A state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed.”many animals die in quarantine
• Courtney Marie Andrews at Fremantle Arts Centre

On Friday 4 March, Western Australia broke the spell of almost two years in quarantine. We did not die but musically it felt like we did with no live international music performances during that time. The so called Hermit Kingdom didn’t keep Covid-19 out but did manage to keep out one particularly noxious toad species Buffo Mineralus Palmerunt.

Hats off to Erin Rae McKaskle aka Erin Rae and Courtney Marie Andrews for hanging tight with their touring schedule when it would have been so easy to cancel due to the unpredictability of WA border closures. Those who attended the Fremantle Arts Centre on a March Tuesday night got to see two of the finest singer songwriters in America at the moment.

Erin Rae is up first. She usually fronts the rock’n Erin Rae Band in Nashville but tonight it’s just Erin Rae, her guitar and her belter of a voice. Her voice is a burning passion just like her sunburn which came courtesy of Perth’s ring tail squeezer of a summer (autumn). Erin Rae plays mostly from 2022 album Lighten Up with a few songs from her debut Putting On Airs. With just guitar and vocals the new songs shine with a delicate abstraction moving easily between Americana and power pop. 

Both Wild Blue Wind and Bad Mind from her debut are deliciously darker, proclaiming Erin as the love bubby of Bobby Gentry and Scott Walker. She finishes with Modern Woman a powerhouse of song that promotes womanhood in all its inclusive dimensions. On this night 8 March 2022 being International Women’s day there could be no better song played live.

From the opening strum of her guitar on song Rookie Dreaming, Courtney Marie Andrews announces she is the deal. Her poetic lyrics are matched perfectly with her achingly beautiful voice. A goddess in disguise who ain’t telling dirty lies. Courtney Marie plays songs from her last three albums. 

Every song feels like a stable classic yet they are less than six years old. No song is any more or less classic than the others. When the set finishes she leaves the stage with a little piece of every audience members heart. A small price to pay to break the spell of quarantine. Even three days later you still pinch yourself and say did that amazing gig really happen. 

Did Erin Rae and Courtney Marie really break the spell?

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