Are you planning on taking a blues excursion this year? Thinking about possible regions to visit on the trip? Sure ya gotta consider Memphis, New Orleans and the rest of the Delta area. Texas and Los Angeles are two more red hot blues spots. Then of course ya got Chicago and the Detroit scene. Maybe you should even consider crossing the boarder. No, not that boarder, the other one. Some of the hottest blues in the past few years has been coming to us from the North, and SHIRLEY JACKSON & HER GOOD ROCKIN' DADDY'S - another excellent blues band from Canada - are obviously musically equipped to see to it that it keeps on coming.
On "CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR", her new CD which features 8 original tracks, SHIRLEY JACKSON has quite an entourage of talented musicians whom she refers to as her GOOD ROCKIN' DADDY'S. Joining SHIRLEY who sings, plays tenor sax and acoustic guitar are: BRAD CONRAD, DAN DUFOR, JOHN LYMAN and DAVE MacISSAC, all on various guitars; BARRY COOKE, on keyboards; GARRY POTTS, on drums; MORROW SCOTT-BROWN and JEFF WIRCHENKO, on bass; JOE MURPHY and PHIL POTVIN, on harmonica; DAWN HATFIELD, on baritone sax; LAYNE FRANCIS, tenor sax.
The CD opens with the title track, an original called, "CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR", which features some real hot harmonica and piano playing. This number puts the band into a groove that they stay in right through the next few cover tracks - "I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY", "TE NI NEE NI NU" and "SO GOOD TO MY BABY" - all of which feature outstanding sax and piano playing.
Two other excellent originals, DON'T COME AROUND HERE" - a real shaker, and "IT'S RAINING" - a very nice ballad, both featured some excellent guitar and sax work. A third original, a very retro sounding "MILLION DOLLAR HEART" features a great bass sound and some excellent steel pedal guitar.
"CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR" is an all around excellent CD. Besides being impressed with the complete production and arrangements of this CD, there were several individual musicians who seemed to impress me with their excellence. Those being both Harp players, PHIL POTVIN and JOE MURPHY; The piano player BARRY COOKE; DAWN HATFIELD on the baritone sax; And on the tenor sax, SHIRLEY JACKSON who clearly shows her worthiness of winning the Toronto Maple Blues Award for Best Horn Player of the Year - 2003.
Several years ago, the motion picture industry went through an 'Australian Invasion' so to speak. It seemed like every Oscar Winner, and most nominees were from Australia. This past several years, here at www.Mary4Music.com, and on the blues scene in general, we are experiencing a similar invasion -- from Canada. You can't find a blues festival lineup that doesn't have at least one or two Canadian Blues Artists just as I cannot open my mailbox without finding a CD from Canada inside. This, my blues friends, is a good thing. Canadian Blues is as good as Canadian Booze.
CARTER CHAPLIN, from Nova Scotia, will be the next big blues name out of Canada. His debut CD, "DON'T BE SO EVIL" is 100% Real Blues. At least that's what it said on the cover. It was stamped '100% Real Blues' as it were a guarantee of sorts. This, I'll admit, had me wondering. 100% blues according to who's interpretation? There are way too many so called blues bands that play nothing but rock and R&B, and they call it the blues. So I sat and listened, all the time thinking will I be listening to 100% Real Blues.
On "DON'T BE SO EVIL", which consists of 10 originals and four covers, CARTER CHAPLIN rounded up so many Canadian All-stars that the Expos, Blue Jays, Canadians and Flames had to be envious. Blues All-stars that is. Joining CARTER CHAPLIN, on guitar on all tracks are: ANDREW GILLIS, on vocals and harp; "LITTLE BARRY" COOKE, on vocals, piano and organ; MORROW SCOTT BROWN, on bass; GARY POTTS, on drums; AINSLIE "AJ" JARDINE, on drums; PHIL POTVIN, on harp; JOE MURPHY, on vocals and harp; MARK GREEN, on vocals; RICK JEFFREY, on vocals and harp; BRAD CONRAD, on acoustic rhythm guitar.
Although most of the cuts on this CD were quite good, I did have a few of my personal favorites. "BAD POKER HAND" had everything going on -- excellent vocals, great guitar, hot harp and powerful piano playing. "BOOZE QUEEN" was another hot track with real funky vocals. "HATE TO SAY IT BABY" made me want to find my lady and start slow dancing with her. It was a real soft, sensual, very bluesy number with everything being played just right. "DO IT IF YA WANNA" jumped real nice and had some great bass and piano playing. "GET YOUR MIND OUT THE GUTTER", perhaps the bluesiest song on the CD was my favorite for exactly that reason.
All in all, with "DON'T BE SO EVIL", CARTER CHAPLIN has himself one hell of a debut CD. By the Blewzzman's interpretation, this CD is 100% Real Blewzz.
Visit Carter Chaplin on the web at: www.carterchaplin.ca/