Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez (photo by Joe Deuel)
Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Denise Borden and Joe Deuel
A handwritten sign posted on the interior door of Caffe Lena proclaimed “Sold Out!,” and the two sets of music that ensued within the landmark venue on a warm Friday night justified why it would be standing room only. The performance was so hot that I had two pens run out of ink – thankfully, I had brought along a Sharpie as a backup.
After a rousing introduction by Caffe director Sarah Craig, Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez opened with a poignant “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” a soul classic written in 1964 by Roosevelt Jamison, who passed away last month. A song associated with O.V. Wright, Otis Redding, and more recently, Buddy Miller. Ohlman’s performance this night could join that list of definitive renditions. She nailed the longing, pleading and devotion innate to each and every verse.