Monday, October 17, 2011


Levasseur gets a bit more uptown on this sophisticated and funky disc.  Polish is sometimes a dirty word, but not when it means professional and smart, and that's what rolls off this disc.  Mostly self-written with three choice covers, she's belting out the R'n'B with gusto, and not afraid to make a big deal about it.  Horns, harmonica, whatever is needed.  Even the slow stuff, like the great revamp of Randy Newman's biting God's Song, is an opportunity to sing from down deep, along with her own soulful accordian.  Feel Good Time is a classic 70's slow groove, something Bill Withers would have sunk his teeth into.

The disc was recorded with four different bands in multiple sessions, which brings a variety of players and styles to the table.  Canadian blues favourites MonkeyJunk handle four of the cuts, solid blues pros.  David Baxter produced three tracks with an ad hoc bunch of his and Levasseur's Toronto pals, including harp expert Paul Reddick.  Baxter handles the elegant pop number Do Run, that moves her into a classy ballad style.  Raoul and the Big Time take three cuts, and the last two belong to Wroxton Allstars, the nom-de-disc of Ben and Ken Whitely, along with drumming stalwart Bucky Berger.  With different bands, studios and producers, it's surprising that the disc comes together so well and expertly.

More big kudos go out to the smart and fine cover of Neil Young's Walk On.  She works it with a bit of a reggae beat, and MonkeyJunk's Steve Marriner plays a great call-and-response harp line, doing a pretty major reworking of the song.  It's also one which many younger folk won't know as a Neil number, and I'm betting they'd still love it.  An excellent disc from a roots 'n' blues favourite in Canada.

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