The Gallaghers were born brothers, Keith Richards chanced upon his childhood friend Mick Jagger carrying blues records in a train station and Slash joined Guns N' Roses because the lead guitarist did not show up for rehearsals. “Musicians know musicians” is how Jody Peck, also known as Miss Quincy, described the birth of B.C. based Miss Quincy & The Showdown, reminding us that it does not take a lifelong acquaintance or unlikely event to form a solid and creative bond.
Miss Quincy comes from northern B.C., but more than anything she is a child of the road and recently played in the SUB as a part of the AMS Frost Fest. Both a necessity in an artist's life and an inspiration, driving through the country fuels her album, justly titled Roadside Recovery. “I know that there have been years where we played over 200 [shows],” said Peck, adding “it's a lot of road time, actual road time.”
In January, she ventured into Point Grey to give an early afternoon concert in the Student Union Building of UBC. Alone with her guitar, Miss Quincy played in front of the Art Gallery for the few dozens who stopped and the hundreds who passed by.
The less than ideal setup didn't discourage Peck.
“I have played pretty much every type of show, from house concerts and listening rooms to outdoor festivals where people are dancing and coming and going, to a lot of loud bars,” said Peck. “I had a good time, I felt like there was a lot of people participating in the show with me.” Life on the road has a knack at making one ready to see every kind of audience, be it a continuous flow of students who pour in, grab sushi and run back to the class they are already late for.
Peck's show traded her album rock'n'roll for live folk and country songs. In that art, the singer demonstrated a talent that many pretend to have but few master. Without a chance to be saved by a studio auto-tune, her voice carried the brown notes of the West and the soothing melancholy of North America's deserted expanses.
When she is joined by The Showdown, a trio that has seen a lot of change over the years, Peck trades a bit of the simple harmony of her voice over a classic song for the energy of original rock compositions. “Rock'n'roll. It's blues and it is rock'n'roll," said Peck. Citing Jack White or The Black Keys, Peck places her band in the late resurgence of a genre that sees its name more often linked to Elvis Presley than to its more recent and certainly divergent incarnations.
“I think rock'n'roll is definitely alive and well right now,” the singer said, following the traditional saying.
The all-female composition of the band and their rebellious nature is confronted to a cliché of girls “singing pretty pages out of their diaries” in their short official biography. Despite that accentuation, Miss Quincy refuses any tentative interpretation. “I wanted to play with other women, so I did,” said Peck.
“The fact that we are an all-female band is totally beside the point. It is far more about the music.”
Miss Quincy and The Showdown are playing on February 6 at The Imperial on Main Street. They are opening for Petunia and The Vipers, an “old-school country rockabilly” band, according to Peck.