By Anita Stewart, Rock At Night Pittsburgh
Venue: Jergel’s Rhythm Grille in Warrendale, Pennsylvania- 4/19/19
Seeing a female guitarist shred, slide and hit the special effects pedals while wearing high heels is impressive; Ana is able to balance and play great music and prove that it is not just a talent, but an art form. Ana Popovic is the act to see; she does all of that and more and makes it look so supremely easy! She is a mother of two, a wife and an award-winning, constantly touring musician who still finds the time to create music. With countless street creds and recognition from other great guitarists, NPR, Billboard and more, Ana is a force to be reckoned with. On this tour, her band consists of keyboardist, drummer, sax and trombone players and a bass player. At times she has used a rhythm guitarist, but she is the only guitarist on this tour. She is endorsed by Fender, D’Angelico, Jim Dunlop and DR strings. She still plays her reissue Stratocaster and a collection of pedals and special effects highlighted by a light blue illuminated panel.
Ana says the songs on this latest album are all about female empowerment. This current international tour is in support of last September’s “Like It On Top” produced by Keb’ Mo’. This current tour will take her to select dates in the US, all over Europe and on a planned Caribbean cruise next winter. She pulled into Jergel’s Rhythm Grill in Warrendale, PA, just north of Pittsburgh on Good Friday AND a Full Moon, April 19th, 2019. This was not a sell out show, but if you were not there, you sure missed a magical time! Ana captivates her audience with her prowess on the guitar and plays a melange of Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Funk, Jazz and gritty Rock and Roll.
Ana Popovic is originally from Belgrade, Serbia (Yugoslavia) and was influenced by her father, also a guitarist. Starting out on keyboards, she selected the guitar as her instrument of choice as a teen. She gigged all over Europe in various bands over the years and also spent over 10 years living in the Netherlands studying music–attending the famous Jazz Academy while touring extensively as she honed her craft. Making the move to Memphis, Tennessee was a career decision and connected her to the movers and shakers of the American music scene. Several years ago, she moved to Los Angeles with her family and is very private about her personal life keeping it totally separate from her public life.
Breaking through glass ceilings as a notable female musician and in addition to the great musicians in her band, she has also shared the stage with some of the best: B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa, Taj Mahal, Buddy Miles, Gary Clark Jr. just to name a few. She is also the only female guitarist listed on the Experience Hendrix Review along with Joe Satriani, Billy Cox, Dweezil Zappa, Jonny Lang and more. At this show, Ana covered the highlights from her studio albums and did an encore that kicked ass and included some Hendrix songs.
The opening act was a wonderful local two piece band, Soulful Femme, comprised of Stevee Wellons who also works as a vocal coach and Cheryl Rinovato, an award winning guitarist who also does session work. Their blissful love of music showed through during their performance. They got the crowd swaying and singing with their graceful and jazzy interpretations of popular covers. During Ana Popovic’s set, they were grooving along with the rest of the crowd!
If you can catch Ana on tour, don’t miss her and get your tickets now. A great show! She is certainly becoming a legend and breaking that glass ceiling. And she is proving that women can not only do as well as the guys, but even better than most of them!
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