Monday, December 5, 2016


Here's a new partnership, at least on disc. Cassie Josephine and Gabe Minnikin both hail from Nova Scotia, met each other on a shared bill, and now share everything, on and off stage. Minnikin's career goes back to the seminal turn-of-the-millennium group The Guthries, which gave us Matt Mays, Gabe's sister Ruth Minnikin, Dale Murray and pretty much everybody who went through the group has been a major contributor to the East Coast music community. He was in England for his last solo album, but back home this pairing is now prevailing, and the duo is the deal now.

In an interesting format, the album is split down the middle, the first half featuring Josephine's songs, the second all coming from Minnikin, although they play and sing on each other's tracks as well. It points to their independence as singer-songwriters, as there are no co-writes, they each have their own material, and aid rather than collaborate for the most part. It does help that they have similar styles, storytellers with a bit of western (as in country and ...) influence, Josephine with more of a voice, Minnikin with more of a twang. They blend well, especially on his songs, a low-high, boy-girl, rough-polished mix that's easy-going and happy.

While Minnikin's numbers fall more into the alt-country world, with pedal steel, desire and bad decisions, Josephine has a sunnier disposition. Her songs are more light-hearted, little celebrations of life, such as I Don't Want To Go Anywhere, or August Man, which announces "I want to hold on to this like a Nova Scotia summer. I know just what she means.

Josephine and Minnikin are launching the album in Halifax, coming up this Saturday, Dec. 10. Featuring the Flower Country Band, the show is at 8 p.m. at the Bus Stop Theatre.

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