The Jay Kipps Band hail from Mono, ON with Jay Kipps on vocals, harmonica & guitar; Chad Burford on lead guitar; Cory Bruyea on drums and Chris Lubker, bass. Strawberry Sunset aka Maddie Ball adds background vocals. They claim to bring blues into modern Americana and to that end open with a “Rawhide”-like instrumental “Colt 45”. For the album photos they also dress in Old West garb and each of the songs is listed as a step to polish those longhorns. “Rotten Apple Blues” is a straight ahead 12 bar, though, about not liking life in the big city, perhaps explaining why they’re in Mono. “Everyone But Me” is another blues, this time about being ignored. “Big Old Engine” is a very good harp-led train song. The program departs from straight blues here, although “Sinister” is a clever rocker. “The Only Reason” is a rather attractive love song with a cello part, played by Lillian Penner. Sound effects and handclaps accompany an all-too-brief Kipps solo, the multi-tracked “Harp Bomb”. Two live songs are up next, recorded at BVR in Orangeville: “Gonzo” is an appropriately-titled poem recited over a hard rock background after which we go to a pleasing version of JJ Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze”. The concluding “Surffarie” is a guitar instrumental with some obvious antecedents. An eclectic set then, well produced by veteran Stewart Gunn. The web site, www.jaykippsband.com, shows they’ll be playing the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival, June 1-3.

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