John’s Blues Picks March 2016 – Sean Pinchin
Sean Pinchin Monkey Brain (Self) | seanpinchin.ca
Port Credit’s Sean Pinchin returns following his breakthrough Rustbucket CD of a couple of years ago. That album led to an MBA nomination, excellent reviews and much work, as he played most of the major festivals across the country. He also played on Dione Taylor‘s recent CD, Born Free. We learn this time from his press release that he has been suffering from severe bouts of depression for years. He realized he could write about this and perhaps help himself as he did so. The result is a stunning new album, produced once again by Rob Szabo, the JUNO-winning producer for Steve Strongman, who also supplies keyboards and backing vocals. Otherwise the music is by Pinchin’s trio, mostly live in the studio, with Adam Warner on drums and Mark McIntyre on bass. Emma-Lee returns for a song as well, recalling her most excellent contribution on Rustbucket. Which brings us to the title song and the most vivid description of the effects on him of his depression, “When my life gets to me my brain starts to change I give in to my Monkey Brain.” Over his raging slide guitar and Szabo’s organ, this is remarkably effective. “I Can’t Stand It” is a pounding rocker that reinforces how difficult it is to live with this condition – one occasion when repetition is justified. “Charity Case” attacks a girl friend who has a patronizing attitude and by extension, quite a number of us. “Living In The Past” has Pinchin opening in falsetto with how he’s been thrown out by his girl. As the band kicks in he sings of his unwillingness to realize this. Emma-Lee’s Greek chorus vocals drive it home. “Goin’ Hobo”, written with Steve Strongman, is rather different musically. Over Warner’s tom toms, he sings of leaving everything behind. The double time solo and spoken verse are a treat. The more overt references to his depression return in “Monsters (in the dark)” – nice solo here. The grinding guitars are back for “Get Burned”, an aural sign of his disbelief at the moment of breakup. Not all the songs here are about depression but I think the whole album is a product of a person in turmoil. The result is a powerful statement. The guitars & vocals are very well recorded, Szabo has done a good job once again. The official release party takes place at the Dakota Tavern on March 18. He promises more dates throughout the year to support the new disc, find out more at www.seanpinchin.ca, where you can also preview and purchase Monkey Brain.