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L.A. Beat

CD Reviews

24th Street Wailers swing in Halifax

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Remember the swing craze of the’90s and 2000s? They 24th Street Wailers do. The Toronto based blues/ swing combo are captured in their element— on stage in a bar, on their new CD Live In Halifax.Click Here to hear the 24th Street Wailers

They set a rock solid groove from the first track,  “All Around the World,” which has some interesting turns of phrases taken from other blues songs “Grits Ain’t Groceries, Eggs Ain't Poultry and the Mona Lisa Was A Man.” But lead singer/drummer Lindsay Beaver makes this one stand out.
 They keep the  solid groove going on the catchy, toe tapping drinking song “Jack, Jim Johnny and Me.”

 Beaver is the consummate front woman behind the kit  getting the audience pumped up while growling lyrics with her powerful, shaggy  whiskey soaked voice which sounds like a blend of the Headpins’ Darby Mills and Janis Joplin.
“Give it up for guitarist Marc Doucet,” she shouts. Doucet adds extra guitar on “ The Pleasure’s All Mine” then breaks a string according to Beaver, then returns on “Love Triangle.”

 Their main guitarist, Emily Burgess is no slouch, playing a whole lot of beautiful blues licks throughout with addictive rhythms, but shines on a hot version of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Empty Arms.”
 Beaver shows how well she can hold a vocal note on  “Shake a Hand,” one of  the few slower moments of the CD. With an unstoppable shuffle beat, sighing saxophone  and a catchy groove, the whole thing swings.
 She plays  with the crowd on an excellent jam on blues classic “ I Got My Mojo Working”  getting them to sing  “got my whoo haa working.”

Everybody gets to shine in this show, saxophonist Jonathan Wong dominates on “House Party,” though his saxophone is what makes the music swing throughout.
They end an sweaty, energetic show with a hot version of Elmore James’ blues classic “Shake your Moneymaker.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Live in Halifax
Artist:The 24th Street Wailers.
Genre: blues

Scott McCord and the Bonafide Truth add jazz to the blues

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You know the type of CD  you just can’t stop listening to? Scott McCord and the Bonafide Truth’s self titled CD is one of these CDs you torment room mates and  friends and co-workers, anyone within earshot really, by playing it over and over again.

Click here to hear Scott McCord and the Bonafide Truth It is a dozen tracks of jazzy blues, soul  flavoured horn powered, addictive  brilliance which sounds like it comes right out of  the ’70s a la Earth Wind and Fire. They also remind me of a more restrained (Edmonton based R and B, blues band) Boogie Patrol.

 There is an unstoppable groove which grabs the listener from the first blasting horn powered note of  “Deploy the Bird (Bonafide Theme)” and doesn’t let go through layers of understated organ, keyboards, lots of horns and funk tinged bass.

It would be at home on any radio station which plays ’60s, ’70s and ’80s rock and roll. “My Heart Is on Fire” comes right out of the ’980s as it sound slike  Paul Hyde from Paul hyde and the Payolas singing R and B music. The guitar and horns of  “Baby You’re a Rich Man” is reminiscent of °’70s band Crowbar’s “Oh What A Feeling.”

There are also tasteful guitar solos like on “Turn Around,” and plenty of addictive melodies.
“Certainty” is certainly a highlight of the CD.
 The entire CD flows very well thanks to a couple subtle instrumental interludes which provide perfect segues to the next song.

— By Richard Amery,L.A. Beat Editor
 CD: Scott McCord and the Bonafide truth
Artist:Scott McCord and the  Bonafide truth
 Genre: blues

Chris Antonik adds many different flavours to the blues

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If you like the way cats like Big Dave McLean or Watermelon Slim play the blues, mixed with a touch of Texas and a smattering of jazz, you will like Toronto bluesman Chris Antonik, who has just released his  new CD “Better For You.”Click here to hear Chris Antonik

 Antonik has a big, gruff, immediately appealing voice and a smooth, Santanaish guitar sound through the 11 tracks on the CD.  There are many flavours in the music from subdued organ, plus perfect horns.
And  he taps into the spirit of  the delta blues, on Walter Horton’s blues classic  “Have A Good Time” — an acoustic number with a great harp solo from Josh Williams which is very reminiscent of  Big Dave McLean.

 Monkey Junk’s Steve Marriner adds an exceptional harp solo to  the first track “Long Way To Go.”
 He has a pretty solid guest list on his CD. Suzie Vinnick provides background vocals on several highlights including  “Turn To Shine,” “Come From A Good Place,” and “So Tired.”
While Antonik usually sings lead, he brings in powerhouse soul vocalist Shakura S‘Aida to sing lead on “Come From A  Good Place.”
“Better For You” features one of many beautiful  guitar solos on the CD. This one sounds like a long lost Pink Floyd solo.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

CD: Better For You
Artist:Chris Antonik
Genre: blues

Christ va. Krishna remember the ’60s

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With a band name like Christ Vs. Krishna, you’d expect gospel or otherwise religious music.Click here to hear Christ vs. Krishna

 But it isn’t the case with Toronto based pop-rock quartet, who sound more like a hybrid of  jangling 12 string powered ’60s pop a la the Byrds and ’90s/ 2000s  alt country/ rock along the lines of the Jayhawks with just a touch of the ’80s new wave like the Cure and the Human League.

 Their new,seven song Ep  “Move and  Scale” is an enjoyable slice of all of those things.

They have plenty of  sugary  sweet  catchy 12-string guitar licks and rhythms. And catchy vocal melodies, though the vocals sound like they were recorded in a stainless steel, echoing tunnel.
 But they do grab your attention from the first track “Teezer,” and don’t let go through  four tracks, though they slow things down a little  by the fifth song  “If You Could Turn My Way.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Move and Scale
 Band: Christ vs. Krishna
Genre: pop/ rock
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