Chris Antonik’s third album was born in the crucible of divorce, a fact that colours all the songs here. We also have an explosive blues-rock album, complete with horn section, strings and chorus. With the help of some high-powered help behind the glass, we have a gorgeously recorded production. “(Between) The Monarch and the Wrecking Ball (We’ll Find A Way)” lends the album its title. The song says they’ll strive for a solution but the throne by itself in the field shows what happened. It’s an excellent song, with gorgeous slide work and a powerful vocal from Antonik. Before that there are other originals: “Gold Star” (he won’t get one from her), “Slow Moving Train” (to the end) and “You’re Killing My Love.” All is not anger, gloom & doom, however, as several of the songs deal with forgiveness and one of fond memories. “New Religion” stresses his new life and looks forward optimistically. The songs may be thematically related but Antonik has come up with some very good musical ideas for these thirteen songs, so good in fact that it’s hard to pick highlights. If I had to pick one, it would be “The Art Of Letting Go.” His band serves him well: Chuck Keeping on drums, Guenther Kapelle on bass, Jesse O’Brien on keys, Samantha Mar tin and Delta Sugar on harmony vocals plus many others. Antonik’s guitar playing is masterful, never dominating his songs and his singing is very impressive. For someone who didn’t sing on his first album, his progress has been simply astounding. The release date is April 7 and there’s a show in Hamilton at the Casbah with Jesse O’Brien on April 8. The Toronto Release is set for The Rivoli on April 26, with Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar. Spencer Mackenzie opens. After that, he embarks on a long US tour, something that’s brought him a great deal of success. This album should guarantee more. His web site is www.chrisantonik.com.

John’s Blues Picks April 2017 – Kim Doolittle
John’s Blues Picks March 2017 – Manitoba Hal