This Hamilton artist was part of the Toronto Blues Society presentation at the Hot & Spicy Festival at Harbourfront Centre this past Labour Day Weekend, making it one of the very few opportunities we’ve had to see this veteran performer. We have his albums, though, and they are all ambitious efforts, with good songs and large casts and this one is no exception, in fact some songs on Break feature twenty players. They are excellent songs too, well written and tuneful, most falling into the soul blues category, if you need one. Some of the song titles tell the story by themselves: “I’ve Got The Right (To Do Some Wrong)” or “(You Ain’t) The Last Sandwich In A Hungry Town”. Bisson is a very good singer as well, as he shows throughout but particularly on the opening uptempo “Break (The Cycle)”. There are several lovely ballads: “The Reason Why”, “Is This Happening” and “Reflections”. The one cover is a big band R&B rendition of “Eleanor Rigby”, a surprising choice perhaps but not out of place at all in this arrangement. Another surprise concludes the disc, a live “Nothing At All”, with Bisson on acoustic guitar accompanied only by cello – a treat. His longtime band features three horns, Gordon Aeichele & Bill Holinaty on saxes and Loretta Hale on trumpet & cello. Mike Rowell is on bass with Sean Bruce Parker on drums. The incomparable Jesse O’Brien is on keyboards. The extra horn players add tremendous punch and on the ballads, adding Hale on cello and Crystal Lee on violin is a stroke of genius. Along with his strong vocals, songwriting and arranging, I have to draw attention to his stellar guitar work, highlighted but always in the service of his songs. Check out his web site, www.andrebisson.ca.

Loose Blues News - December 2017
John's Blues Pick November 2017 - Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters