Myles Goodwyn has been busy: celebrating the 50th Anniversary of his band April Wine at the Ex in August, an appearance with his blues band at the Southside Shuffle and now with the release of his second blues album. Friends of the Blues 2 does carry on from the first volume in format with a star-filled list of Friends but has even better songs than that JUNO-nominated album. Most of the songs feature Russ Billard on keys, JR Smith on drums and Bruce Dixon on bass. They supply excellent support for Goodwyn and his cast of Friends. Special mention should be made of Reeny Smith and Lisa MacDougall as these two wonderful singers supply background vocals on many of the songs. The opener is a rocking delight: in “Hip Hip”, Goodwyn recalls his introduction to the blues travelling through the states as a young man, name checking Buddy Guy and with an absolutely superb piano part played by Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne. A creative arrangement graces the Womack’s “All Over Now”, making it rather different from the Stones’ version you might remember. This one has a solid harp solo from Mike “Shrimp Daddy” Reid who hasn’t been heard from much since his move to the east. “You Got it Bad” channels Sonny and Brownie in a well-sung leaving song featuring Matt Andersen on acoustic guitar and Dewey Reeds on harmonica. “Fish Tank Blues” is built on an especially raunchy slide guitar part by Halifax guitarist Will Van Hansolo but little else. “Daddy Needs New Shoes” is a great little rocker featuring Jack Semple on guitar and John Campbelljohn on slide – Daddy is sending the wife out to work. “Being Good” starts with a slow introduction by Angel Forrest before the band kicks in with Goodwyn’s verse. Angel returns and Martin Davidson gets a nice sax solo – a marvelous duet performance. “I Love my Guitar” is exactly what it says: no guests, just Goodwyn celebrating and playing. His romping “Help Me Baby”, is a jump blues that features Joe Murphy on harp and Bill Stevenson on piano, Montreal’s Steve Segal solos on electric guitar. The acoustic “When Your Ship Came In (I Was at the Airport Drinking) features Jack de Keyzer on bottleneck and Sherman Doucette on harmonica – our narrator has a problem. “I Saw Someone That Wasn’t There (And it Was You)” has David Gogo as the featured lead guitarist – his partner is long gone but not for him. Goodwyn’s Friends all contribute to making topflight albums for you to listen to at home but the fine players from the Maritimes he brings with him for live shows are special too. You can see, and hear, for yourself at The Revival Bar on November 15. The official release date is October 25 and his web site is www.mylesgoodwyn.com. 

October 2019 - Big Dave McLean
Blues In the Garden with Sandra Bouza