Cootes Paradise is, as you’ll recall, both the former name of the town of Dundas and a beautiful park. Their self-titled first album was nominated for a Maple Blues Award and we are now treated to the follow up. Downstream features all the veterans that made that first one led by the co-vocalists Sue Leonard and Wayne Krawchuk. They call their sounds roots and blues but for this album at least they are into a bluesy soulful blend. The lead off song is Bill Withers’ “The Same Love That Made Me Laugh” which gets a soaring vocal from Sue that effectively conveys a lost love. “The First Time” recalling a first lost love gets an equally effective vocal from Wayne. The video for this one was previewed on the TBS Facebook page a few months back.

They also like to do a bit of social commentary and a percussion-heavy version of Van Morrison’s “You Gotta Make It Through This World”. Sue and Wayne duet on this one. The original “Knack for That” finds Sue giving us a ‘sarcastic tongue in cheek take on self-sabotage’. Another original,”Scratching Post”, finds Wayne very angry with his partner. Sue contributes the one ballad, the inspirational “Meant For Something More”. They duet on the closing “Until The Rain Stops” – they’re putting up with each other and then gone. For each of these songs, the band arrangements are stunning. Mark Volkov is a triple threat on flute, sax & violin all three of which contribute mightily. Lily Sazz plays keyboards, as she does for the Women’s Blues Revue Band and her work here is especially effective on the New Orleans- styled opening for “The First Time”. Amy Di Nino is a most imaginative drummer as is Ian Taylor on bass. They all sing backup vocals when called upon. As with everyone else in the community, the pandemic has made a mess of plans, the release date so far is Aug 21. Check out www.cootesparadiseband.ca.

August 2020 - Book Review - Brother Robert: Growing Up With Robert Johnson
August 2020 - Paul Reddick & The Gamblers