Rosie & The Riveters, slated to bring their playfully defiant songs to Polson High School Auditorium March 8 as part of the Mission Valley Live series, had to cancel their trip. According to MVL’s Facebook post on March 6, “Due to an issue with their visas, Rosie and the Riveters were unable to board their plane to the USA this morning. Therefore, it is with great sadness that MVL has to cancel our March 8 performance.”
With red lipstick, pin curls, and overtly feminine costuming, the Canadian trio may look like a 1940s girls group, but this is not a throwback band. Instead, they embrace the feminist undertone of their moniker in a way that allows them to shed their please-all attitudes, take a purposeful stance, and dare to be themselves.
Rosie & The Riveters never planned to get political. But opening a newspaper or watching the news these days made it impossible to see the status of women around the world and stay silent. The result is their 2018 album Ms. Behave – a collection of gritty, sultry, vintage-inspired folk anthems that paints a portrait of a woman’s voice in a man’s world.
“Elements of old-school rhythm and blues pervade the album which, paired with spotless folk harmonies and a real rock ‘n’ roll attitude, help Ms. Behave elevate itself,” writes PopMatters.
The band wrote over 40 songs in a cabin in Northern Saskatchewan before travelling to Toronto to collaborate with heavy-hitting Canadian songwriters like Royal Wood and Matthew Barber. A quick read through of song titles like “Gotta Get Paid,” “Let ‘em Talk,” and “I Wanna Be King” gives an idea of what they have to say.
While their single, “Ms. Behave,” lays down a Bill Withers-inspired groove and rejects the policing of women’s behavior, “I Believe You” springs from the outrage and sorrow they felt after hearing the recent avalanche of stories of sexual assault.
Rosie & The Riveters sophomore album, which echoes Aretha Franklin’s demand for R-E-S-P-E-C-T, remained in the Top 10 US folk music charts for 17 weeks, peaked at #3 on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20, and was featured in publications such as Parade Magazine, Pop Matters, No Depression and Rolling Stone Country. With songs addressing sexual assault, the gender pay gap, and the policing of women’s behavior, it’s clear why Billboard Magazine called them “powerful and daring.”
Trio members Farideh Olsen, Alexis Normand and Allyson Reigh believe women are the world’s greatest untapped resource, which is why they invest 20% of merchandise profits in micro-finance initiatives through KIVA.org. They’ve helped women like Alice in Kenya expand her horticulture farm and Maria in Ecuador purchase a sewing machine for her tailoring business. To date, they’ve contributed more than $12,000 to over 250 projects around the world.
Tickets are $5-$15 and free for 12 and under, accompanied by an adult. Visit missionvalleylive.com for details.