The blues will be alive and well in Atikoken, ON as long as these two stay there. They record there and sometimes they go to Clarksdale MS to record but this time they came here. And it’s a full band album, with Queen Street scene veterans and friends of Reno Jack’s from his days at the Cameron House coming on board. We get Johnny MacLeod & Steve Koch on guitars and Cleave Anderson on drums. Reno Jack on bass and Sunday Wilde on her barrelhouse piano complete the instrumentation. There are fewer originals this time out but the covers are well chosen and very well arranged. The perfect example is the opener: Wolf’s “Howlin’ For My Darlin’”, with a new verse from a woman’s perspective by Wilde and a fabulous rocking groove. Wilde sings this one solo and a fine vocal it is. Ruth Brown has always been a role model for her and three of Brown’s are here: “Love Contest”, “5-10-15 Hours” and “I Wanna Do More”. Reno Jack joins in on vocals from here on either as a straight duet or as interjections and he takes the lead vocal on “I Wanna Do More”. An original, by Alberta’s Don Sponchia is “Van Horne”, a fine train song featuring MacLeod on harp. Reno Jack takes his solo vocal on his own “Moonlight Rising”, a tender love song. Wilde’s barrelhouse piano begins her 12 bar “Back Lane Man” about a lover who wronged her. With harp & slide guitar, this one’s a Chicago blues treat. Sam Cooke’s “Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day” and a couple of country songs round out the attractive program. Perhaps it’s Reno Jack’s influence but there is an infectious rockabilly blues feel to the whole album. This band can play and the admittedly rather eccentric vocals of Sunday Wilde & Reno Jack work very well together. The web site, www.hwy11records.com, will show eight albums between them and this one is one of the best. The release date is September 15.

John's Blues Pick September 2017 - Julian Fauth
John's Blues Picks September 2017 - Best of Jack de Keyzer Volume One