1794 Meetinghouse

Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez

Saturday, July 13 @ 7:30 pm

I’ve come here tonight to set your souls on fire,

she’ll tell an audience. And she will.
  • Christine Ohlman — vocals, acoustic & electric guitar
  • Rebel Montez:
  • Chris Bickley — lead guitar, vocals
  • Michael Colbath — bass
  • Lorne Entress — drums

Christine Ohlman, vocals, acoustic & electric guitar

This queen of blue-eyed rock n’ soul, who grew up loving equally the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff, whether played by Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, or Pop Staples, teased her blonde hair into a beehive in honor of Ronnie Spector and never looked back, picking up a guitar and forging a career as a songwriter in the process. She’s the current, long-time vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band (SNL40’s anniversary post-show concert also featured her star turn onstage with Jimmy Fallon, Elvis Costello and the B-52s), whose latest CD, The Deep End, was honored on five national Top Ten lists and features special guests/duet partners Ian Hunter, Dion DiMucci, and Marshall Crenshaw, plus Levon Helm, GE Smith, Andy York, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, Catherine Russell, Big Al Anderson, and others. Ohlman topped the Alternate Root.com’s Readers’ Poll as top Americana vocalist, joining other winners Paul Thorn, The Mavericks and Rodney Crowell.

Ohlman’s legendary voice and stage presence (she’s known as “The Beehive Queen” for her towering blonde hairdo) have most recently been featured on Dion’s 2024 album Girl Friends (which spent several weeks in April at #1 on the Billboard Blues chart), where she shares two duets with the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (their friendship dates back to his duet with her on The Deep End’s vintage soul classic “Cry Baby Cry”), and on an upcoming 2-disc LP tribute to the late, great blues guitarist Matt Murphy. She’s been seen and heard at the AMA Conference in Nashville; The Royal Academy at Ghent, Belgium; The PBS series “Music City Roots” with Bonnie Bramlett, Sarah Potenza and the McCrary Sisters; the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s Tribute To David Bowie; on numerous guest vocal shots on the HBO series “Vinyl” that feature a duet with Elvis Costello; on both SNL’s 45th and 40th Anniversary telecasts (pulled onstage by Jimmy Fallon at the after-party concert for SNL40 at the Plaza Hotel, she tore the roof off with the B52s as her backup vocalists), “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” (guest shot with Black 47); the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Concert in Cleveland (filmed by HBO); the Carnegie Hall tribute to the Rolling Stones; the ongoing series of Little Kids Rock galas in NYC (taking the stage with Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, Steve Miller, Graham Nash, Bill Medley, Bonnie Raitt, Keb Mo, Tom Morello and others); and the the WC Handy Festival in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (2023 found her producing Walking In Memphis, a sold-out, historic collaboration with blues greats Charlie Musselwhite and Travis Wammack. She’s been the special guest of the Blind Boys Of Alabama and soul queen Candi Staton, and helmed a sold-out tribute to legendary producer Jerry Wexler, as well as serving as the festival’s Grand Marshall); and co-billed with iconic guitarist Travis Wammack), as well as on both SNL’s 25th and the aforementioned 40th Anniversary telecasts; Bob Dylan’s 30th Anniversary bash at The Garden (with George Harrison, Chrissie Hynde, and others); the 2013 Obama Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C.; The Lincoln Center “American Songbook” series with Sting, Lou Reed and Van Dyke Parks; and the Central Park Summerstage Tribute To Janis Joplin (where she fronted both Big Brother & The Holding Company and the Kozmic Blues Band).

Christine Ohlman doesn’t just perform. When she’s on a stage, she OWNS it, taking command of it with her soulful singing and stage presence. She’s an electrifying talent, a born entertainer. Watching Ohlman blaze away is a visceral musical thrill. Fans of vibrant rock and soul owe it to themselves to catch Ohlman and her band, Rebel Montez, when they appear at the Plantation Club.

Mark J. Cadigan, Worcester Magazine.

Ohlman is an inductee into the National Blues Hall of Fame of American Heritage International. She appears on Grammy nominee’s A Tribute To Howlin’ Wolf (with Taj Mahal and Lucinda Williams) and Charlie Musselwhite’s One Night In America (with Marty Stuart); sings the theme song for NBC’s 30 Rock; worked on a musical with the late Cy Coleman (who compared her sense of timing to Peggy Lee’s); duets live with friends like the aforementioned Miss Spector (she was honored to emcee Ronnie Spectors’ Celebration of Life in NYC in May 2022), the late Mac Rebennack (two private evening of duets she calls “absolute highlights”), Americana stalwart Paul Thorn, Bonnie Bramlett (who has become a longtime friend), Muscle Shoals legends Donnie Fritts and John Paul White of the Civil Wars, and New Orleans mainstays The Subdudes (she joins The ‘Dudes, BB King, Irma Thomas, Richard Thompson and others on Get You A Healin’ to benefit the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and has guest-hosted five editions of “Down On The Bayou” during successive Jazz & Heritage Fests with Widespread Panic’s JoJo Hermann, again to benefit The Clinic); worked often with the late blues giants Hubert Sumlin and Eddie Kirkland; collaborated on critically-acclaimed tracks with Marshall Crenshaw (Labour Of Love: The Music of Nick Lowe), Big Al Anderson (Pawn Shop Guitars), and Ian Hunter (When I’m President and Shrunken Heads); edited legendary Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham’s autobiography 2Stoned and appears also on Oldham’s historic 2013 release “Andrew Loog Oldham and Friends Sing The Rolling Stones Songbook Vol. 2”). A musicologist of note, Ohlman is a cover-story-writing contributor to Elmore Magazine, and worked with Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder & others on the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Awards.

Ohlman tours relentlessly with her band Rebel Montez, torching clubs up and down the Eastern Seaboard in support of her recordings: Strip, The Hard Way, Radio Queen, Wicked Time, 2008 career retrospective Re-Hive, the aforementioned The Deep End, 2011 concert DVD Live Hive, and 2024’s The Grown-Up Thing.

Chris Bickley, lead guitar, vocals

The “man in the black cowboy hat,” Chris Bickley — a proud native son of Chapin, South Carolina — joined Rebel Montez on the road in 2010 on lead guitar and vocals, immediately firing up main stages from The Rochester Jazz Festival, City Winery NYC, MusikFest and way, way beyond. Chris’s instrumental album Tapestry Of Souls (featuring Outloud/Talon vocalist Chandler Mogel, Mike Vescera, Dino Fiorenza and other guests) made Hard Rock Haven’s Top Ten best albums of 2012. He’s a longtime member of Eynomia, a supergroup made up of both American and European artists, whose 2018 album Break Free has been re-released in 2024 with an additional bonus cut. He is a contributing member of Southern rock band Thunderhead (who famously toured with Johnny Winter); also look for his guitar playing on R&B sensation Arika Kane’s debut album (charting #69 on Billboard’s Hot 100). He brings fire, passion, and a great sense of wit and humor to life on tour.

Michael Colbath, bass guitar

Michael started out a jazz freak, and in many ways it’s still his first love. But from the time he picked up his first bass to the present, his interest in music has been truly global. Mike got his start working out with R’n’B soul groups in Hartford’s North End and continued to cut his teeth on the Hartford scene with the Hibachi Brothers, a World Beat band, while at the same time playing with a succession of jazz combos.

Known as “The Buddah of The Bass” for his unflappable Zen-trance stage presence, Colbath goes to the well of Duck Dunn, James Jamierson, and John Paul Jones for inspiration. He says, “Playing with Christine allows me to work on music in an original context, which is very gratifyng to me as a musician.” Michael brings many influences to his playing style and bass lines and a spark that few can match when he straps on his axe.

Lorne Entress, drums

Lorne Entress is a New England-based drummer/producer/engineer who joined the Rebel Montez family in 2019, and we welcome him. Coming to of the historic Boston scene as an original member of Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, Lorne has famously toured or recorded with Mary Chapin Carpenter (2022, 2023 and 2024 Summer Tours), Big Al Anderson, Susan Tedeschi, Lori McKenna, Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, Junior Wells, Freedy Johnston, Chris Collingwood (from Fountains of Wayne) and many others. In the studio, he’s mixed records via his Harmony St. Studio that include performances by Stephen Stills, Sheryl Crow, Tom Jones, Rosanne Cash, Ellis Paul and Betty Lavette, and produced albums for such diverse artists as Lori McKenna, Ronnie Earl, Mark Erelli, Diane Blue, and Catie Curtis. Lorne also sings and plays guitar, hosting a monthly residency called The Sideman Series featuring renowned instrumentalists such as Duke Levine, Kevin Barry, and Marco Giovino.

Lorne’s 2021 CD Red Letter Day featured a set of originals that garnered rave reviews, with Entress sharing lead vocals with good friends like Mark Erelli, Freedy Johnston, Lori McKenna, Tracy Grammar, Hayley Reardon and Christine Ohlman, and guest guitar shots by Duke Levine and Kevin Barry.

Christine and her gang, perennial favorites, put on an amazing show, and behind the scenes she is one of the best in the business to work with. I can’t do justice to all of her credits in this short a space; you should check out the full list on her website. You are in for a real treat. My hat is off to Christine, now and always. And I’m so glad she’s come back again to grace our stage.

Brad Foster, Executive Director, 1794 Meetinghouse
Adults: $20 | 13-17: $10 | 0-12: free
Soulful Roots Rock & Blues