For 10 years, Storman Norman has been bringing the blues to Vancouver by means of his popular radio program. For nearly 20 years, the city's infamous Yale Hotel has been the home of the blues. To commemorate Sunday Blues' 10th anniversary, the two joined forces and the result was a celebration to cherish for years to come. You can do just that, thanks to this CD recorded live during the festivities held June 10, 2001. For over 70 minutes, you will hear Vancouver's finest blues musicians. For this special event, the audience came prepared to show support and have a good time. In fact, they sound more like a crowd from a packed concert hall. Surely their enthusiasm strengthened the performances of the featured house bands. Most of the blues included on this 12 song disc are on the rockin' side of things resulting in a very upbeat CD.
Incognito ignites the affair with their straight-up blues rendition of "That's What Love Will Make You Do". The song contains many, inimitably improvised guitar, organ and sax solos. Gary Comeau joins the band and temporarily turns the place into a wild Mardi Gras party. 70s rocker Jerry Doucette lays down a blistering, hot rockin' version of "Help Me". Can this be the same man that sung about being too young to play the blues on his biggest hit? Kenny B melts his organ while Doucette sets his fret board ablaze. Surely many spectators had their hair singed on this one. As implied by their name, Texas Flood, specializes in lone star state shuffles and blues-rock as can be heard on "Freight Train". Willie MacCalder's boogie woogie piano can be immediately heard on Ellie Johnson's performance of "Te-Ni-Nee-Ni-Nu". Sharp, icy guitar picking thrives on both Jim Byrnes tracks. "What I'd Say" is an avid tribute to Ray Charles and it is pure rock and roll. Brickhouse mesh roots rock with adult contemporary and blues to produce a truly unique style of music on "Lucky One". They stick around for a few numbers and bring things to a climax on "That's My Plan". Here, Storman Norman wails his harp on a bopping and swinging tune rich in the tradition's of Canada's more well known blues acts.
This is one of the best 'local artists' CDs that I have ever heard. Its full of the energy that only live blues can produce. Surely, it will introduce many to the blues and they will be perplexed by the genre's powers. The event was responsible for teaming up musicians who may not have otherwise performed with each other and may not again. Unfortunately, the liner notes are not detailed enough to identify what instruments the musicians played. Overall the musicianship is impressive, the vocals range from gruff to heavenly and the songs (including 6 originals) are robustful. All proceeds from the sale of this disc go to charity. Pick up this CD and experience what the locals already know about their club and artists.
For CDs and information, contact: www.sundayblues.com For more information on the Yale Hotel, contact: www.theyale.ca
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