DIVERSE TRIUMVIRATE PERFECTLY ILLUSTRATE CANADA’S MUSICAL DEPTH AND BREADTH

HARRY MANX – FAITH LIFT

EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A CAT

Harry’s back and like a cat that’s got the cream he’s purring contentedly cradled in the company of the Sydney Opera Strings who add whatever this graceful feline stalk through his back catalogue needs. Whether that’s subtle and sensitive or sultry swing the partnership is a delight as his trademark mohan-veena-raga-blues nestle comfortably alongside the Australian quartet’s sympathetic and empathetic accompaniments.

Highlights, and there are plenty, include opening track ‘Moon Going Down’, the moodily magnificent ‘Death Have Mercy’, his classic achingly uplifting ‘Coat of Mail, the gorgeous “Sometimes’ and the possible ‘top cat’ of the litter, the slinky blues-harp driven swing of “Baby Please Don’t Go/ Help me’.

It’s an aristocat of an album to be sure. One of which Thomas O’Malley and his gang would be proud.

 

Harry Manx – Faith Lift

DogmyCatrecords – 2017

FAST ROMANTICS – AMERICAN LOVE

SONGS LIKE THESE ARE BORN TO RUN

From their opening sonic-widescreen, Panavision, Technicolor declaration ‘Everybody’s trying to steal your heart’ Fast Romantics do exactly that by rocket-launching a musical inter-continental stylistic ballistic missile in your ears direction.

Echoes of Duane Eddy, Del Shannon ,Phil Spector, The Boss, Meat and JIm, Arcade Fire, The Lover Speaks and more are all to be found here in a collection of songs with great big hooks, sing-along choruses and humungous heart on sleeves emotions as big as the country they’ve been created in and baby, they’re born to run.

So if that’s your thing dig in. It’s an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of the history of rock’n’roll that’ll have you singing along as you search for your old 45’s, cassette’s and 8 tracks if you’re of that age. If not, fear not, you can have days, weeks, maybe even a lifetime of fun digging for the rock’n’roll diamonds that clearly inspired the band and are so lovingly reproduced and honoured throughout.

Be prepared to find yourself buying a beat-up old Chevy and hitting the road for what’s left of the summer bellowing along (discordantly?)at the top of your voice to these songs that are as addictive as nicotine and bring out the inner-karaoke-singer buried deep within us all no matter how hard we might try and deny it.

And what’s more by the end of it all you’ll probably feel like you ‘can live forever and ever.’ Amen?

FAST ROMANTICS – AMERICAN LOVE

Light Organ Records – 2017

 

BETTY BONIFASSI – LOMAX DELUXE

SMOKIN’

Betty’s roots are showing. And she don’t care. But you should ‘cos this is a brassy, ballsy, blues-roots bonanza built around turn of the 20th century slave songs as recorded originally by famed musicologist Alan Lomax. Initially released a couple of years ago its recently been re-issued with 4 superb remixes that add electronic funk’n’stuff to what was an already heady brew.

The bonus is the VOICE. No silly, not that Voice. Betty’s voice. She’s got one of THOSE voices.

Full of passion, power, attitude and dare I say it, soul. Strips paint. Raises hairs. You know. One of THOSE voices.

From the opening bombardment of ‘Rosie”, Betty and her band grab you by the ba….short and curly’s and hold your attention like a champion bronc-buster holds onto the saddle until the 8 second buzzer; or in Betty’s case the final notes of the hypnotic heaviosity that is Nicola Recap’s excellent electronic treatment of ‘Old Hannah’ fades away and finally releases you from the album’s spellbinding grip.

Backed by a ridiculously smoking set of players and backing vocalists the album’s genesis is also a fascinating tale that you should investigate as it adds to the allure and confers authenticity on this criminally ignored (so far) talent and set of songs that are, possibly, more relevant today than ever before.

Betty Bonifassi – Lomax Deluxe

L-Ab

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About The Author

Gary A. Rutland
Collaborator - RREVERB

Gary’s been listening to music since the 60’s and has the scars to prove it. Failed dalliance’s with violins and guitars couldn’t stop him fronting the Punk band Moscow and being spat on by 2000 Welsh punks in the summer of 1977 while supporting John Peel faves The Motors at Cardiff Top Rank. He spent 15 years selling some of the finest music by some of the best musicians in the world.