Toronto singer-songwriter Margo Salnek has just landed on this desk. While not at all considered a blues artist (she is marketed as retro pop), Margo's music is intriguingly original and bordering on a cabaret-piano bar-blues sound. While often in that slow Witherspoon-like tempo, she also has hints of swing and boogie in a few cuts. A high registered voice ala Betty Boop, Margo works to maintain that soft, sweet, swooning female vocal profile often associated with singers who became WWII pin-up girls.
Salnek leads the vocal arrangements and also brings in her vocal group, The Kidd Sisters (Mary Meehan and Maddie Willis, for the background vocals. They help fill that forties and fifties sound out with on-time and harmonic give and take. You find the foundation built by Lionel Williams on the bass and Kevan McKenzie and Rick Gratton splitting the drum chores. Dave McMorrow is on keys, and Aiden Mason, Dave Gray, and Rob Phillipp split the axe duties. The harpman is Carlos del Junco, and Fergus Humbleton pipes on the clarinet. The Real Deal Horns provide the brass; Dave Dunlop, John Johnson, Vern Dorge, and Gord Myers.
Your first taste of that cabaret sound comes behind the second cut "Cleveland", and you get to keep that immediate post-war feel throughout. Purists stay away, for those with wider listening, this should appeal to those melancholic, lost-in-space moods! Conscious story-telling brings out parables like the teen warning "I'll Be Pretty". It's here: Good arranging, soft music, sweet horns, and the appeal of a relaxed, high-class hotel cabaret set. Strictly, retro pop and a blues sensibility with lyrics that fit the bill!
Peerless Music, Inc.; P.O. Box 1114; Whistler, British Columbia; V0N 1B0 Canada:
This review is copyright © 2001 by Mark A. Cole, 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.
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