Lance Anderson is a major player on our music scene, he’s the keyboard genius who leads the popular all-star ensembles devoted to the music of The Band, Levon Helm, Joe Cocker, Stax and several more. With fellow keyboard wiz Matt Weidinger, he has now embarked on a most ambitious project: a twelve-strong revue emphasizing original material. Matt is the lead vocalist for the band and that’s his picture on the front cover. He sings five of the songs while Lance sings three, wrote all but three and produced. Matchedash Parish deserves explanation: Matchedash is an Anishinaabemowin First Nations word for swampy land used for this area and river in Simcoe County, where Lance resides. It’s also the home area for several members of The Band, whose signature sound is evident throughout but particularly in the opening “When the Rains Come” where Matt Weidinger’s vocal channeling Richard Manuel most effectively with multi-tracking re-creating those wonderful harmonies on this Lance Anderson original. Roots here grow deep. “Where There is Love” is a Lance original, a gospel song written for his grandchildren and sung most beautifully by Matt, ending in a rousing climax. “St. John’s Matchedash Parish Hall” is a storming rocker Lance sings as well as wrote. This is not Sunday morning at church by any means, this is Saturday night at the Parish Hall with this one in Coldwater standing in for any Parish Hall and what a good time it is. With two horns, two drummers & a percussionist, a chorus, Lance on his accordion plus mandolin and piano, this band smokes. Quisha Wint leads the backup vocalists and is the lead vocalist for another Lance original, “God Gave You Hands”. She sings wonderfully on this attractive mid-tempo gospel plea for togetherness, Gene Hardy solos on tenor sax. The one non-original is an attractive gospel version of the Beatles’ ”Lady Madonna”. Apparently, this Beatles song was based on “Bad Penny Blues”, a New Orleans style instrumental hit for Humphrey Lyttelton in England in 1956, bringing it full circle. Some soul is up next as Weidinger sings his “Afraid”, a song from his self-titled solo album that shines in this larger setting. His clavinet drives “Not Sold on this Getting Old”, a blues highlight – Lance is told by his partner that he’s not the man he once was, something he refuses to believe. Lance tries his hand at soul too, missing his partner while on the road, with his “Hopeless Romantic”, guitarist Mackenzie Jordan plays slide. Lance’s love of New Orleans funk led to the instrumental (plus chorus) “Congo Strut” with its fine trumpet solo from William Sperandei. Matt includes another song from his solo album with “Nothing to Say”, a tender ballad that also benefits from its arrangement for the larger ensemble. The closing “This Love Can’t Last” has Lance wanting to live for the moment with a most suitable closing climax. Quisha Wint’s chorus features Michelle White & Jill Zadeh and they are a vital part of every song here. Shamakah Ali and Ben Rolo are on drums with Art Avalos on percussion and Mark Macintyre on bass. “Where There is Love” & “God Gave You Hands”, from Mariposa last year, are on YouTube for you to check out and Lance promises the album will be available on streaming services soon. But make sure you are at the CD Release Party at Hugh’s Room Live on September 23rd as you will then see, and hear, what a Saturday Night at this Parish Hall is really like. The web site is www.makeitrealrecords.com. 

Blues Revival #3 Featuring Sandra Bouza
Loose Blues News – August 2019