This young Montreal vocalist is rapidly building a name for herself, already winning two Quebec Lys Awards. They were for Breakout Artist and, for her first CD, the award for Best Blues & Associated Styles, the awards’ catchall term for non-traditional blues. They were finalists at last year’s Talent Search leading to her well-received appearance at Blues Summit 7.

At their web site, they call their music Alternative Rhythm & Blues, but Ms. Reece’s haunting vocals fit this column perfectly. André Chevarie is the excellent guitarist, song co-writer with Ms. Reece & producer and he also handles the label. Bass chores are well handled by Sylvain Lamothe and drums are by Martin Laporte and they provide all the support she needs. It’s billed as a band and it deserves to be. “(Maybe) The Dark (will follow me home)” is a gorgeous opener, an ambitious mid tempo rocker that shows off Ms. Reece’s multi-octave and expressive voice. Guest slide guitarist Pat Loiselle is there for every twist & turn.

“Think I Fell In Love (Again)” shows a lighter, jazzier touch with Guy Bélanger guesting on harp. After a couple funky things we get a slow blues, “Anybody?”, a plea for help in these dark days. J-P Bouffard guests on organ. Bouffard’s organ underpins “One Foot In The Grave”, another highlight that brings to mind the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ version of “Hit ‘Em Up Style”, a fine song. If “The Dark” was good enough to be released as a single, “A Thing Called Love” actually was released as the first single a month or so ago. It again features Bélanger and Bouffard but more to the point features a powerful vocal from Ms. Reece on a strong song. This music is as contemporary as the artwork on the cover.

You owe it to yourself to catch the Toronto CD Release on Oct 22 @ Monarch’s Pub. Meanwhile, check out the web site at www.riareeceband.ca, the songs stream there and there’s a link to soundcloud and iTunes.


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John's Blues Picks Oct 2015 – Michael Schatte
October 2015 - Cécile Doo-Kingué