Submitted by Lenny Stoute Photo: Kitty, Daisy, Lewis
If you name check sibs Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, you’re liable to step off with thoughts of warm, fuzzy, alt roots pop. You’d also be very wrong about what they do. A better clue is that Mick ‘The Clash’ Jones produced current album, ‘The Third’, dropping now.
Described as "a gift to those of us who still believe in magic,” and three years in the making, it’s a worthy follow-up to their highly acclaimed 'Smoking In Heaven.’ That one coughed up enough coin for the crew to build a new 16 track analogue studio in a derelict Indian restaurant in Camden Town, resulting in an album and a sound pushing ahead what all that came before.
An early fan of the band, Mick Jones was keen on his gig as producer. Jonesy T spent four months rehearsing with the band at their home and utilizing many forgotten recording techniques. "This magical, heart-warming record really does produce a feeling of wonder,” says Jones. Something else Jonesy brought round was an enhancement of the group’s rockabilly leanings with a side of edgy vibe.
Every once in a while a CD comes by that is a pleasant surprise and such was the case with Chris Staig and The Marquee Players album “Shack by The Tracks”. This latest of five solo recordings released by Chris is chock full of great tunes and grooves. You’ll hear a little of The Band, Little Feat, some Beatles, Blue Rodeo and even a little eearly Flying Burrito Brothers.
Mayor John Tory, Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee and Co-Chair of the City's Toronto Music Advisory Council, and Councillor Josh Colle (Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence), announced today after a successful business mission in Austin, Texas that the City of Toronto will host a summit with business and key music industry stakeholders from Toronto and Austin this fall.
"The table stakes for economic development in cities like Toronto and Austin is the ability to compete successfully for talent,” said Mayor Tory. “I have been to Austin and I have seen how creative sectors like music, film and technology drive economic growth, job creation, investment and tourism – and help attract and retain young talent. If we’re going to bring more jobs, and attract and keep world class talent in Toronto, we need to focus on promoting and growing our creative sectors and this summit will be critical to that process.
Razor Wire is just that. Slicing, sharp lyrics and production from a very fine young, US modern Country-Americana singer-songwriter. Aldridge has a fabulous, crisp and clear voice with bags of strength and soul at its heart. Most of the ten tracks here are self-written and she is generously backed by a storming studio-crew with all the push and power of the Nashville sound behind her.
At times there's a strident melancholy in some of the compositions, reflections of a darker side of life and a visceral eye for life's tragedies and pain. On others, the rallying cry of redemption and release sparkle brightly, like Aldridge's vital and vibrant voice.
The daughter of a seasoned Muscle Shoals and Nashville veteran songwriter/producer - the late Walt Aldridge, she was virtually born to be a musician. Any other métier would have been unthinkable really. Initially a classically-trained pianist, she took up guitar and studied sound-engineering at University in Tennessee, before turning her attention to the art of writing songs and performance.
Razor Wire is her debut offering and within its bounds she delivers a character full and carnal collection of memorable melodies and lusty lyrics. Clearly a Nashville newcomer to watch out for, Aldridge has the power to surprise and satisfy.
The latest, third, release from young, hot-shot British rock-bluesman, Laurence Jones is a true cracker. A wonderful album of searing guitar work coupled with some deft lyrics that have a stamp of confidence and maturity about them that simply belie his relatively tender years and must speak volumes of what might yet lie tantalisingly in store for the years ahead.
All eleven tracks are solid, full of positively pounding guitar riffs, runs and licks that echo many of his personal early influences - Walter Trout (whose band he has already played with); old Slowhand Clapton; Albert Collins and Rory Gallaher. There are also shades of Stevie Ray Vaughan there, I'm sure.
Jones featured heavily in last year's blues charts with his own album, 'Temptation' (gathering accolades worldwide) and his participation on German record company Ruf's talent showcase album 'Blues Caravan 2014'. There's no doubt this guy has a warm, wonderful musical future ahead of him, with praise coming from his musical peers, the media and a growing army of global fans.
When you take Jones' lyrics, great fretwork and add a powerful, mature voice to the mix, you end up, as here, with a genuine bit of quality. On one track he is joined on support vocals by Scot, Sandi Thom, and on another by New York siren, Dana Fuchs. Both lend a strength and purpose to the project. A highly recommended release.