CURL is Helen Davies, Susan Johnson & Dee Cooper. They are based on Vancouver Island and Davies is the lead vocalist and plays guitar, with Johnson on bass and Cooper on keyboards. They are joined on this recording by Andy Okell, drums and Jazz Fouladianpour, guitar. Guest spots go to Bill Johnson on lead guitar and Gene Hardy on tenor sax. Davies and Cooper, separately, write most of the original material, a pleasing mix of blues-jazz & funk. The opening, title, song is a forties swing styled tale of an unlikely, drunken love. Gene Hardy shines here. Cooper’s “Wee Dark Hours” is an excellent slow blues about a long lost love. This is one of Bill Johnson’s features and he doesn’t disappoint. The cleverly written “Good Side”, credited to the trio, deals with a lover always taking her picture which she’s not too happy about but she no longer likes him and her personality doesn”t have a good side either – something she isn’t shy about saying. Bill Johnson shines here too. The funky “If You Want Me I’m Yours” is another highlight, after another night of debauchery, she’s ready to pack it in. An Aretha Franklin hit, “Won’t Be Long” makes for a roaring conclusion, with Hardy’s saxes contributing mightlly. With Davies’ forceful vocals, Johnson’s rock solid bass and Cooper’s imaginative keyboard work, this is a very impressive collection. Their web site, www.curlgirls.ca, shows they’re staying on the island in the near future but you should try to get this disc if you can’t get there.

John’s Blues Picks June 2017 – American Epic
John’s Blues Picks June 2017 – Gary Cain