Lillian Boutté - Barefootin’ (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

Lillian Boutté - Barefootin’

Photo: Katja Liebing, Blue Moon Photography

A warm, vivacious show from the dainty American jazz dame

Lillian Boutté is in the middle of rip-roaring title track 'Barefootin’' when she clocks me dancing in my chair. Thirty seconds later I’ve been cajoled – with a few others – onto her tiny stage and I can only attribute the lack of dancers generally to the early timing of the Sunday night show. Surely everyone loves jazz this good.

The dainty American dame’s rasping, honeyed then shuddering vocals are a striking thing and, combined with her heart-warming verve, the show goes from good to great. There are too many vintage hits to note: a fabulous Clarence Williams track; Etta James’ storming ‘Something Gotta Hold On Me’; her vocal showpiece, Ray Charles’ ‘Funny But I Still Love You’ and an entertaining rendition of ‘Cest Si Bon’ amongst them. Boutté scatters anecdotes about legendary performers and how to cheer up office jobs in between, while elegant instrumental interludes make for easy listening, despite a noticeable absence of a brass section in the three-piece band.

The finale? Boutté thanks us for 'letting a little old lady make you laugh', a mass sing-along to ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ and a hug and a kiss for every single audience member on the way out.


  • 4 stars

Lillian returns to the Fringe, following her 2012 five star sell-out show, to again bless Edinburgh with the musical heartbeat of her native New Orleans. A reviewer last year likened Lillian's upstairs loft session to a voodoo séance, where our heroine invited the audience to jump, jive and wail, which left an impression…