Little Miss Higgins pulls out the jazz and some of Winnipeg’s best

Little Miss Higgins, who goes by Jolene Higgins in the real world, not only has a gorgeous jazzy, lounge tinged voice on her new CD,  Across The Plains, she supplements it with a  full horn section and a who’s who of the Winnipeg music scene.
‘Tornado’ is an upbeat horn filled song about  tornadoes and bad luck as she sings ‘it seems like the tornadoes are following me,’ which is reminiscent of her ‘Dirty Old Tractor’ song from a  few years back. She even plays a mean guitar solo on it and many others on the CD.
‘Bargain Shop Panties,’ encapsulates the Little Miss Higgins  sound the best, featuring her quirky  humour, and shows off her old school blues and jazz influences, plus  features  The D-Rangers Tom Fodey on muckbucket bass and shouting ‘bargain shop panties’ with  Big Dave McLean, The D-Ranger’s Jaxon Haldane (who also produced the CD) , clarinetist and horn arranger Cedric Blary, Joanna Miller and Andrew Neville who are all popular Winnipeg musicians. It also features some superb mandolin playing from Tim Williams. Williams is all over the CD as well playing mandolin and banjolin on several tracks.
‘Snowin’ Today: A Lament for Louis Riel,’ is simultaneously a poetic and morbid tribute to Louis Riel which features some more great horns, plus a tuba and  a really appropriate violin line  by Blaine Badiuk.
She slows down a little on ‘Hope You Don’t Feel Blue,’  but delivers some pretty interesting lines like ‘Columbus was a cannibal.’
 And I really like the a cappella grove of ‘Gather My Fruit,’
The other quirky highlight is ‘Glad your Whiskey Fits In My  Purse,’ which starts off with a  strong Pasty Cline, ’40s and ’50s country feel then launches into an upbeat New Orleans style  jam featuring some ukulele, some more great horn lines,  a whistle solo and Jaxon Haldane on banjo.
The CD ends with an ominous old blues style song called ‘Slaughterhouse (revisited) which features John Scole who owns the popular Times Changed Club in Winnipeg on bass as well as Tim Williams on mandolin and  a harmonica solo form Big Dave McLean, plus a tasteful guitar solo from Foy Tayor.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD : Across The Plains
Artist: Little Miss Higgins
Genre: blues/jazz
Record Company: indie
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