AETN Arts Fridays brings you AETN Presents: On the Front Row with Bonnie Montgomery and Montgomery Trucking at 6:30 p.m. and PBS Arts from Cleveland: Women Who Rock at 9 p.m. Its a night of rockin women from Bonnies hillbilly funk and opera after, to Janis Joplin to Lady Gaga. Cyndi Lauper hosts.
I was lucky enough to witness the fun that is Bonnie Montgomery and band live in our studio when they taped this concert. My first two reactions were 1. I want to be her! and 2. Shes adorable! and then she opened her mouth….and so much joy and fun with words and music came out I didnt have enough pretend paper in my head to keep going on about what I liked best about them. John Willis on the piano was phenomenal, the singers who supported all the joyful music rocked it and then the switch to Billy Blythe was very cool..sort of a two for the price of one fun time.
The opera Billy Blythe is a short-length opera set in 1950s Hot Springs about the culture and landscape of southern Arkansas that shaped the adolescence of former president Bill Clinton. The works name comes from Clintons birth name, which he changed at age 16. Bonnie goes from red and white checkered decked out vintage cowgirl and kazoos to black evening gown and opera in a few seconds. It works.
Also airing tonight is PBS Arts from Cleveland "Women Who Rock." From Bessie Smith to Janis Joplin to Lady Gaga, this performance documentary vibrates with energy as it traces the indelible mark that amazing women musicians have made on America's soundtrack. "Women Who Rock" reveals new insights into what it means to be female in the male-dominated world of rock and roll, while exploring how those dynamics between sexes have changed with time. Cyndi Lauper hosts. Watch a clip here.