JOEL FAFARD - CLUCK OLD HEN
Fafard's instrumental prowess is already established. His past three instrumental albums have proven him one of the country's top guitarists, with a Juno nomination and lots of acclaim in the national folk community. But the axe is only part of his show, and this time out he's made a full vocal disc, consisting mostly of classic blues and folk, done acoustic. There are a whole lot of standards here, from Spoonful to Come On In My Kitchen to John Hardy. Fafard rips through with his customery virtuoso playing, here sticking to dobro with a slide. And while he rips and zips his way through, what sets this collection apart is what's also featured.
Fafard and producer Steve Dawson (who has quickly become a big favourite of mine) don't just stick with the acoustic, they move it into a whole new sound. Joining Fafard is double-bassist Gilles Founier, and violin and viola player Richard Moody. The trio dig deep into the classic material, finding patterns and places to weave and harmonize with their sliding and plucking. The viola is especially effective, its slurred, bowed tones a wonderful new partner to the blues.