Some things you know are just going to work great, even when it's still just an idea on paper. A'Court, Spiegel, and Vinnick are three of the most enjoyable roots/blues players traversing Canada these days. Vinnick and A'Court need no introduction to blues and festival music fans, as multiple award winners and excellent songwriters and performers. Spiegel's a relatively newer name, having been introduced to Canadian audiences just a few years back, from his native Australia. There he's a blues icon and one of the country's very top guitar players and has been wowing crowds here of late with his dynamic stage shows.
After crossing paths and hanging out, strong bonds were forged between Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Australia, and the idea of joining forces was judged a perfect one. A national tour resulted, which hit the East Coast this week, as well as a new album, combining all their talents. Vinnick's bass playing has won her a Maple Blues Award in that category, she's that good, so she handles that as well as acoustic guitar duties, while Spiegel and A'Court trade off lead and rhythm duties, and all three sing and write. That's the stage show, and the album, no need for anything else other than this super-talented trio.
The album is all original, aside from one lone cover song, "Sunshine Blues" by Bahamas, sung by Vinnick. She also contributes the dynamic "Better Angels," a heartfelt play for compassion in our messed-up world. It features beautiful harmonies from the trio and reminds me a lot of, say, a great Jann Arden single. I'm singling out songwriting first because this is far more than simply a guitar player's album, which it easily could have been. These people are grand writers and singers too, and that really makes the collection strong, from fun foot-stompers such as Charlie's "Dancing at the Dirty O" to Lloyd's classic acoustic blues, "Alligator Shoes." And yes, there's grand guitar too of course, found on two riff-happy instrumentals, A'Court's Latin jam "El Fuego," and the group co-write "Bo Jinx," full of true guitar-hero playing.
There are lots of East Coast dates, there were sold-out shows across the rest of the country, so grab your chance to see this trio, the energy will be great heading into these final concerts.
Apr. 20 - Saint John, NB - Imperial Theatre
Apr. 21 - Florenceville-Bristol, NB - Weldon Matthews Theatre
Apr. 22 - Annapolis Royal, NS - King's Theatre
Apr. 26 - Pictou, NS - deCoste Theatre
Apr. 27 - Liverpool, NS - Astor Theatre
Apr. 28 - Lunenburg, NS - Opera House
Apr. 29 - Windsor, NS - Mermaid Theatre
Apr. 30 - Truro, NS - Marigold Theatre
May 1 - Fredericton - The Playhouse
May 3 - Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL - Lawrence O'Brien Arts Centre
May 7 - Torbay, NL - Jack Byrne Arena