This Ontario blues-roots act has just released its second album, and already has built up lots of excitement both here and in Europe, thanks to its fiery live performances. The group features perfect festival sounds, led by powerhouse vocalist Meghan Parnell, and a big band with horns, organ, and lots of energetic material. Parnell's such a dynamic performer, she could easily command the stage herself, but there's tons of great playing as well, led by guitarist Dave Barnes.
With the blend of Southern soul, roots rock, and blues, plus a woman singing, the group gets a lot of Susan Tedeschi comparisons, but they are actually not as jam/Allmans influenced. Instead, the songs are tight, the keys/horns/guitar parts carefully arranged throughout, with lots of dramatic moments as the songs build to full power. On lead track "Left Behind," the intensity keeps inching up until the band is roaring like a jet engine, while Parnell fits right in, like another horn in the mix. On "Sea We Swim," heavy on the organ, it could easily be Little Feat at its '77 prime, with the Tower of Power horn section.
The band has been getting lots of raves in the European and U.K. blues/roots communities, and bookings too. Already they have several festivals on their summer 2023 schedule, in Germany, Greece, Belgium, and the U.K. Nothing in mid-September though, and Bywater Call would be an excellent choice for the local Harvest Festival here in my beloved Fredericton.
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