Monday, November 14, 2016


Oh what to do when you can do too much? That's always the issue facing Montreal's Dawn Tyler Watson. Fluent in jazz, soul, gospel and all variants of blues (acoustic, electric, rhythm and..., etc.), she moves from project to project, gig to gig, basically just killing them all. This time out, it's a new one for sure, one that incorporates several of her styles, with a big, gutsy backing.

For Jawbreaker, she's enlisted Ben Racine and his band, fellow respected Montrealers. The sextet is known for its heavy 50s/60s R'n'B stylings, and here they let Watson go all out on some of that gospel-flavoured, high-energy material. Shine On has all the power of a revival meeting, with Watson joined by vocalist Patrick Lehman, playing off each other at full throttle. Racine himself joins in for a duet next, this time on the far more soulful and smooth Just A Little Bit More, doing a little Dinah Washington/Brook Benton action.

The Racine group sits out for Tootsie Roll Blues, an acoustic number with upright bass from Morgan Moore, which brings in an equal portion of jazz. In the ultimate Montreal tribute, Watson, and Racine band groove through Smoked Meat, an organ-and-horn workout, on rye with a pickle on the side. That, my friends, is funky.

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