It’s been five years since Deeanne Dexeter last graced the Buckle & Boots Stage, fronting the band that bore her name. This time round she was bringing her new solo act which takes a more soulful approach and yet retains an Americana element at its core. The change has undoubtedly done her a power of good, for from the moment she took to the stage, after the band has been doing their intro for about 20 seconds, with an outfit that undoubtedly dressed to impress and sparkling eye makeup that glistened and twinkled from wherever in the arena you happened to be, she was ready to deliver
Being the mistress of her own destiny seemed to have emboldened her and throughout the set Deeanne was powering out notes with a gusto I can’t recall ever seeing before. The set as she had promised in our preview article was a bit of everything, taking in her new EP, some well chosen covers and a nod back to her previous incarnation.
Things kicked of “Blind Eye” the title track of the new EP, the chorus with its ever building chorus was an early vocal test that was easily passed and she beamed as she announced “It’s so good to be back”. The new material sounded spectacular in a live setting, warm and soulful and blessfully without the curse of over emoting this was proper singing and it was thoroughly engaging. Choosing Chris Stapleton’s “Fire Away“ for a cover was a good if slightly dangerous choice, guaranteed to please a country crowd, but a stark contrast between Chris’s grizzled vocals, and Deeannes polished sound but it was to prove to be an unqualified success - as she made it her own. Deeanne admitted to having been nervous about the performance all day but now it was happening she was visibly loving every moment of it.
Things kicked up in terms of pace with a revisit to “Try” one of the latter bits of the Dexeter repertoire which came with a delicious keyboard contribution that gave it new additional punch. Taking to her stool for “4 AM” from the new EP delivered with such confidence it was a wonder to witness, as Deeanne was able to maintain its intimate feeling even in a big stage arena setting. From close up intimacy to full on crowd singalong with Etta James’s “Take A Little Piece Of My Heart” which thrived in the Buckle & Boots atmosphere of people just wanting to enjoy themselves and their music.
Closing with a supercharged version of her debut solo single “Women Like You” which once again saw the keyboards to the fore blending wonderfully with Tom Wright’s excellent bluesy guitar to provide Deeanne the absolute perfect backing to allow her glorious return to the Buckle & Boots Main Stage draw to a close. We once wrote an appreciation of Dexeter on their sad demise which someone commented sounded like an obituary – on this evidence of this showing Deeanne Dexeter is reborn, rejuvenated and ready for action!