John’s Blues Picks Oct 2015 – Jay Sewall
Jay Sewall Duets 1 (Self) | www.jaysewall.bandcamp.com
Quebec harmonica wizard, Jay Sewall, a lifetime-achievement-award winning veteran, has a new disc that showcases his vocals and harmonica in the company of some of Quebec’s blues & folk stars. He also adds acoustic guitar to his repertoire and other instruments come in as necessary. Stephen Barry duets on the first of the mostly original compositions by Sewall, “I’m A Lonesome Cat”. With just guitar, bass & harmonica, this is a lovely acoustic performance. “Shabby Doo Bop” is a delightful New Orleans style song with Monya Mathieu dueting, accompanied by second line drums and trombone from Geneviève Duval and tenor sax by David Parker. Michael Jerome Browne contributes vocals on perhaps the most serious song here, a mournful “Hobo Joe (Moanin’)”. Sewall’s harmonica is dramatically effective.
Women’s Blues Revue alumna Valérie Clio duets on “Let Your Ego Go”, a bit of what Sewall calls New Orleans reggae, with the horns soloing nicely. Michael Goudreau guests on the rockabilly “Take A Chance”. First Nations rhythms propel “Run Indian Run” done with drummer Barry Nameth, the story of Gun-an-noot, who was falsely accused of murdering two white men. He was finally vindicated but the being on the run for thirteen years led to his death soon after, another more serious song on a mostly whimsical disc. His Amos Garrett-like vocals are very pleasing and the harmonica playing of course peerless. Several of the guests were new to me but no longer.
There are a couple of web sites but www.jaysewall.bandcamp.com is where limited streaming and downloads are available.