You know you’re in for a musical treat when you’re having wordplay over drinks with the name of the band that’s tuning up.*
Through a recent series of unfortunate events, we had been kept from seeing this three woman, one man group for about a month or so. We were eager to experience what so many others had consistently told us was a great show.
An overlay of alto saxophone during sound check, with its smooth sleepy approach, is never too brash, often puts you in a jazz mood. Once you’re there you thirst for it. So when Sheeza began to play some upbeat blues and rock originals and covers, our jazz mood was checked and risen.
It was an excellent show.
Often, when two vocalists attempt harmony with live music, there’s the occasional bit of disconnect. A lot of give and take. However these two vocalists, Claire and Courtney Tchoula, were connected with a balanced range, a range which appeared to be the result of a long standing chemistry. Their harmonic vocal pairing only served to compliment itself throughout the evening.
Joined early on by Kevin Peters, they slowed down the intro to the cover of Tracy Chapman’s 'Gimme One Reason'. Claire’s resonating vocals, along with a few well placed hand snaps (on what appeared to be a Fender Telly...?), kept the small venue’s ambience in a pleasant, groove-able funk.
There was no shortage of crowd-facing energy as they were well into their set. There were several times in the evening that I not only heard, but felt a steady and unmodified blues vibe.
Lead vocalist Claire Tchoula exhibited a presence of mind for the live venue by yielding often to Courtney’s vocals at the right time, leading them at other times to maintain a steady jazzy dynamic which we enjoyed.
Courtney Tchoula, with a dependable range and choral harmony, brought vocal offerings, along with the occasional tambourine at her side.
Fist bump to bassist Susan Wilson for those tight blues pops, and keeping it ‘right-on’ into the changes.
Justin Robbins’ drums were strong throughout. He kept it crisp, never letting us down, nailing the transitions and song endings well.
They even showcased some of their post-grunge capability by adding a blues feel to Puddle of Mudd’s 'Psycho'.
And although Wilson’s bass work was never absent otherwise, her talents were especially highlighted during Hall & Oates 'Maneater’.
'Maneater’ offered as well, another chance for Claire’s saxophone to be heard. I honestly could have listened to a ‘sax-centric’ set all night.
They touched on several different styles and genres, including a bit of rhythm & reggae, crowd-pleasing covers, and a jazz rhythm late in the set that was danceable at times.
Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’, turned out be our favorite cover of the evening. It was a close second to their last tune - their cover of A.M.’s 'Uninvited'.
Second favorite cover:
‘Jane Says’ by Jane’s Addiction. I especially enjoyed their vocals on this one.
Third favorite cover of the night:
‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries made for an eloquent pause. This mid-90’s classic was well chosen on the setlist.
Check out their original work ‘Burn Baby Burn’ at:
Thanks to Digby's Pub and Patio as always for being our generous host.
Favorite quote of the night:
“I thought that was a ponytail!”
Second favorite quote of the night:
“Saint or no saint, it’s your beard man.”
Claire Tchoula - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Alto Sax, Songwriter
Claire, you’re a talented musician and you give the crowd energy. Keep doing what you’re doing.
Courtney Tchoula - Vocals
Courtney, you have a powerful voice. Keep it fearless.
Susan Wilson - Bass
Hey Susan, digging the outfit. That's how a bassist should look! Way to sway.
Justin (Bones) Robbins - Drums
Justin , way to hang with those tight jams. Keep it coming.
*Sheeza Bombs (the phrase we coined to categorize this list)
Sheeza Brick House (thanks Martin!)
Sheeza Old Fashioned
Sheeza Zombie (my favorite)
And hey...slow down Lafayette...and listen some music.
Music review and promotion in central Indiana and surrounding areas since 2013
Blues Rock/Cover/Original Artist
Feb 27, 2016
Digby's Pub and Patio