Named after a conservation area around Dundas ON, this new grouping of like-minded individuals was created at Lily’s Pad. Lily Sazz, the keyboard player in the Women’s Blues Revue Band lives nearby and her basement is the focal point of the group. Joining her are five veterans: Sue Leonard and Wayne Krawchuk on lead vocals supported by Mark Volkov on flute, sax and violin; Lily on keys; Amy Di Nino on drums and Ian Taylor on bass. Krawchuk plays guitar as well. They call the result a ‘groove-based sound with a mix of blues, roots, soul and r’n’b.’ That they are ‘like-minded individuals’ is immediately apparent, the electricity obvious from the get-go. And they have the original songs to match. Ms. Leonard’s powerful vocals propel her rocking opener, “Are You Ready (to accompany me)”. A funky tribute to that basement is Krawchuk’s “Lily’s Pad”, with Krawchuk on vocals and everyone else joining in on background vocals – that pad obviously had a big impact on this band. New Orleans rhythms dominate “It’s True”, a gorgeous Leonard co-write with a fine vocal. “Better Stop” is a Lilly Sazz co-write, beautifully constructed and with a relentless groove. Krawchuk supplied the rocking “This Time (I’m Playin’ To Win)” and takes the bluesy vocal. There are two covers, Lula Reed’s “What Makes You So Cold”, with a vocal from Lily and Bob Dylan’s “Everything Is Broken”, a bit of social commentary with Krawchuk doing the singing. Lily’s somewhat more traditional “This Train Is Rollin’” gets a solid blues vocal from Leonard with some fine violin from Volkov. The concluding “Wake Up” is their own take on social commentary, written by Lily and her partner Paul Fayter. This anthemic plea to get up and make something happen uses a full choir, The Grand River Voices, to great effect. Not a traditional blues album by any means but completely blues-worthy and thoroughly enjoyable. Master producer Nick Blagona was behind the glass helping make this is one fine debut disc. Check out the web site, www.cootesparadiseband.ca.

John's Blues Picks December 2017 - Mike “Mudfoot” McDonald
Top Blues - December 2017