There is a palpable buzz as the “gals” get ready. There’s no luxury of a dressing room, or backstage. This is the Edinburgh Jazz Bar, the temple of Jazz, and what a place to see Scotland’s six-piece all girl jazz band, the Red Hot Rhythm Makers. Heads turn as a few bars of Duelling Banjos ring out for the soundcheck, and then, after a brief introduction, it’s straight into Royal Garden Blues.
Led by Ali Affleck (vocal, washboard, cymbal, woodblock), the show is based loosely on the band’s project, Six Gals Named Smith, all of whom were singing or performing songs through the early years of the 20th century, and Bessie Smith, Trixie Smith, Ruby Smith, Clara Smith, Laura Smith and Mamie Smith, are the inspiration and the source of much of the content, along with some Ma Rainey and Memphis Minne.