John’s Blues Picks Jan 2016 – Front Porch Roots Revue
Front Porch Roots Revue Sugar Cube (Self) | frontporchrootsrevue.com
This Edmonton-based group of veterans grew out of a revue called Up On Cripple Creek, which as you may have guessed performed the music of The Band in the Edmonton area, much like Lance Anderson’s revues do here. And equally successfully, it seems. The four who form the core of the new group are Ron Rault on bass & acoustic guitars, David ‘Crawdad’ Cantera on harp, Gord Matthews on guitar and drummer Thom Moon. All but Moon write & sing. Karla Anderson adds sterling harmony vocals and the wonderfully named ‘Day Old Muffin’ guests on mandolin for this first album of original material.
Rault begins with his “Eye of the Hurricane”, a marvellous slow acoustic blues. The electric version of the band kicks in for Matthews’ “Good Things Comin’”. It’s a nicely written blues about his current condition and how ready he is for some improvement. Cantera turns in a lovely pre-war sounding acoustic blues, “Cordella’. It’s easy to imagine Day Old Muffin as Yank Rachel on this one. Rault’s “Changes” is an equally good but more contemporary-sounding acoustic blues. Cantera’s “Caveman” is a straightahead Chicago blues with humourous lyrics and quite wonderful solos. Rault’s “Long Train” is a leaving song and a toe tapper, with nice slide guitar & harp. Matthews’ “Sugar Cube” was chosen as the title among all these very good songs and it proves to be a lovely instrumental. Cantera’s “Tears Of Mine” is a doom-laden conclusion to the original songs, built on tremelo guitar and harmonica. The bonus song is The Penn-Moman classic “Do Right Woman” beautifully done, a well-deserved feature for Ms. Anderson. They write on their web site about the group chemistry that they discovered they had, I hope it continues for a long time. That web site is www.frontporchrootsrevue.com.