The much anticipated and awaited debut disc from Montreal's Dawn Tyler Watson is finally here. The 54 minute disc contains 12 distinctive originals amongst a total 13 tracks. At their core, the Blues Project is comprised of Dawn (vocals), Andy Dacoulis (electric guitar), Domenic Romanelli (bass) and Sam Harrisson (drums). They are magnified by several guest musicians on this disc. In particular, Craig Hodgson's saxophone turns the heat up while Danny Ranallo's acoustic guitar is superb. For a band billed as a 'Blues Project', they are exceptionally light on songs befitting of the genre. However, they do offer a fresh mix of jazz, acoustic pop, swing, and soft rock. Of course the star of the show is Dawn with her stunning vocals!
Things commence with the lazy, jazzy "Cigarette" sung with the class of the great female jazz singers of the past. Here, Dawn draws a fantastic analogy between a relationship that isn't good for her with a cigarette. It's a fatal attraction indeed. "You Can't Be True" is a slow blues that features her sweet, angelic voice. Andy's rich and classy sounding guitar is followed by the dreamy organ of Peter Ranallo. Our songstress gets sexy and sassy on "Rollin' Joe" where she delivers the lyrics with attitude. "Take It Outside" is one of those songs that was written to be performed in front of an audience. Especially one that has had the chance to enjoy a few beverages, lose their inhibitions and partake on the sing-along chorus. Things dramatically change on "Abused" which accurately describes woman beating and where Dawn painfully sings the words. The song's heavy-metal-like guitar solo relays bent up anger and frustration which is experienced by both victim and assailant. No CD is complete without a funky, shake your booty song and as such "Come-n-Get-It" will not disappoint. You will feel like Dawn is singing "Movin' On" for a private audience of one - the listener. She belts out the lyrics with so much emotion you'll swear she is declaring the breakup for the very first time. Be sure not to miss the jazzy rendition of Hendrix's classic "Purple Haze".
On her debut CD, Dawn Tyler Watson proves she can song anything. Her rich, haunting voice will mesmerize you from the opening track. This CD is a fine modern selection of songs sung in the vein of the great female jazz singer albums of days gone by. Forget those blonde bombshells who only pretend to play jazz. What we have here is the real deal. Next time out, she should focus on a certain genre as too many are tackled here.
For CDs, and information, write to: Preservation Records Inc., 16700 Trans-Canada Highway, Kirkland, Quebec Canada H9H 4M7 Artist website: www.dawntylerwatson.com
This review is copyright © 2001 by Tim Holek, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.