Tag Archives: Rainee Lyleson


Rainee Lyleson and her band at Venue 505
Rainee Lyleson as Joni with her band at Venue 505

As tribute shows go, this was up there with the best…Rainee Lyleson, as promised, came on stage in a hippie kaftan outfit as the young Joni and enthralled the enthusiastic audience gathered in one of inner Sydney’s most popular music venues. Not only did she look like Joni but she also sounded like her.

Rainee gave the dulcimer a good workout and also a number of different folk guitars. She delivered soulful, gusty, edgy renditions of some of her early classics….’A Case of You’… ‘Both Sides Now’…’Little Green’..’Blonde in the Bleachers’. There were neat backgrounds to the songs and albums, how famously during the making of her album BLUE, Joni’s nerves were totally on edge…she was a siphon for everything.

After a longish sort of break, Rainee returned to the stage in a classy black evening wear and with a great band- pianist, bass and lead guitar.  The focus shifted from the folksy to the jazzy, bluesy Joni circa the period  when she released another classic album, ‘Heijra’. Rainee again delivered the goods- a lilting delivery of one of my favourite Mitchell songs, the melting, sultry ‘Blue Motel Room’ and a soulful rendition of the elegiac ‘Amelia’ after the legendary aviator Amelia Eckhart.

Rainee didn’t let the Joni fans down- we also got soulful renditions of ‘Woodstock’ and a breezy ‘You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio’.

Joni only toured Australia once. I saw her three times during her tour. Twice at the Capitol. Once at the Opera House…The memories came flooding back.

Rainee Lyleson has turned channeling Joni Mitchell into a memorable concert experience. TAKE ME AS I AM: An Evening with Joni Mitchell, for one night only at  Venue 505, 280 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills on Thursday October 3. She is hoping to soon take her show down to Melbourne.







Rainee Lyleson plays her dulcimar in a quiet park setting

Rainee Lyleson is one of those multi-talented young performers- she is an actress, singer and musician- who is always on the move.

Rainee recently completed her role as Juliet in Impulse Theatre Company’s vibrant production of ROMEO AND JULIET at Newtown’s King Street theatre.  Interestingly, her mother- Lisa Peers- was also in the cast, playing Juliet’s Nurse. At our Bondi meeting she told me how she was the third generation in a row of actors in her family.

She is now well into rehearsals for her latest production, her tribute show, ‘TAKE ME AS I AM, An Evening with Joni Mitchell’, which she will she perform for one night only, next week at Surry Hills’s 505 Venue.

“My father came into my bedroom when I was thirteen years old. Excitedly he handed me a new record, Joni Mitchell’s ‘Court and Spark’. He said, ‘Rainee, I think you are ready for this now’. He was so right. I was hooked on Joni’s music  through my teen years and have been ever since. Joni turns 70 this November and I wanted to honour a true artist.”

Rainee has been touring her Joni show for the last year, giving some 8 performances, including an East Coast tour that took her up to Byron Bay. This is her first city gig.

Rainee will be coming on to the 505 stage as the great Canadian Lady of Song. With her petite looks she passes easily for Joni. She has spent a lot of time researching her role, and will appear in character. There will be repartee between songs, with little background stories to the songs, many of which were about the particular man that was in Joni’s life at the time. They were celebrated figures in their own right, including Graham Nash and James Taylor

The show will play out in two sets. First set will be acoustic, with Rainee playing guitar and dulcimer, and will feature a lot of Joni’s early material, in particular, her much critically lauded BLUE album, which even Bob Dylan gave a nod to with his song, ‘Tangled Up in Blue’, from another legendary album, ‘Blood On The Tracks’.

After interval, the second bracket will focus on Joni’s move towards more jazz style music and will conclude on the note of another classic album, ‘Heijra’. Rainee will be supported by a funky band that she has got together that will include drums, bass, piano, guitar and harmonica.

Joni Mitchell hung up her guitar a long time ago. Her last album of original songs was released in 2007. Now her focus is on paint brush and canvas, an artform that she has always appeared to be more at ease with.

Rainee Lyleson will give her concert TAKE ME AS I AM: An Evening with Joni Mitchell at Venue 505, 280 Cleveland Street at 8.30pm on Thursday October 3. Bookings- trybooking.com.

“We are stardust

We are golden

We have to get ourselves back to the garden.”

A trip down Memory Lane to a more  idealistic time…I can’t wait…Maybe see you there?!






R+J Promo09-001
Dan Webber and Rainee Lyleson play the star crossed lovers

It’s the weekend. You are looking through the entertainment guide for something to do. You check out the theatre section. There’s not much that takes your fancy. And then you spot something. A company, the Impulse Theatre Company, is doing the Bard’s Romeo and Juliet but they’re giving it a contemporary setting, resetting it at the time of the Cronulla Race Riots that took place in December 2005. The show’s promo line,-‘Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Cronulla’….It sounds interesting…Let’s do it!

Clever concepts don’t always convert. This is the case with this re-imagining of the Bard’s classic in the setting of the Cronulla riots. It may well have been a good pitch but it doesn’t make for a great fit.

The Cronulla riots were the result of tension, over a long period of time, between local residents and people from a Middle Eastern background, mainly from the Western suburbs, who were coming into the area on weekends. The riots had nothing to do with warring families nor was the racial conflict the breeding ground of a romance for the ages….

Thankfully, Wallace only gives this angle to the narrative a very light brush! He starts strongly with the replaying of old video footage from the riots, and then the staging of the  Cronulla beach scene where a local Aussie woman is sunbaking and being harassed by Lebanese guys however by play’s end titles flash across the back wall saying that we are now in Mantua. From Cronulla to Mantua in  a flash….

All is not lost! Impulse’s production proves to still be worth catching, as the result of a very  committed cast  and some good really good performances, particularly from the supporting cast. Bryan Hajduczoh as Mercutio and Alex Bryan-Smith as Tybalt impress as the impulsive foes. Lisa Peers, the real-life mother of Rainee Lyleson who played Juliet, gave, for me, the performance of the night, playing Juliet’s Nurse as well as Lady Montague (quite indiscernible in this role). Alan Faulkner impressed in multiple roles as well as delivering Shakespeare’s wonderful prologue.

Impulse Theatre Company’s production of ROMEO AND JULIET opened at the King Street Theatre, corner King Street and Bray Street, Newtown on Wednesday 31 July and plays until Saturday 24 August, 2013.