Big House Blues at the Bijou

The Goddess of Canadian Blues visits Eugene

This week, Bijou Art Cinema will begin screening Music from the Big House, a film that follows Canadian blues chanteuse Rita Chiarelli through her experience with putting on a show inside Louisiana’s Angola prison.

However, it turns out there’s far more to her presence in Eugene than just black and white flickerings across the Bijou’s silver screens; she’s stopping by the Bijou on Wednesday, June 20—in this instance, in the flesh—in order to perform live at a special screening of Big House.

Chiarelli has been playing music all of her life, and with especial focus on blues and roots music, it’s not hard to tell that she’s taken time to learn the meaning of wailing. Her voice is like rich, chalky honey with the scratchy grace of Woodstock Janis Joplin, add to this the raw soul of Etta James and some wicked songwriting chops and you’ve got yourself one killer Canadian blueswoman.

The screening will include the 1hr, 27min film, Rita’s live performance, and a Q&A session with the “Goddess of Canadian Blues” herself, and at $12 a pop that means you’re basically getting a concert for $5 (General Admission Bijou tickets are only $7).

For further details and to purchase tickets, visit

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