Ottawa’s Wicked Grin took home last year’s MBA for New Artist, and the album Shame On Me has garnered several other awards as well. Murray Kinsley is the bandleader, vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter, hence the new special billing, I guess. Rod Williams plays harp, Leigh-Anne Stanton, bass & Liam Melville, drums and all the attention has been a major confidence builder. The new songs are a big step forward from an already good Shame On Me. The band playing is simply superb and judging by their blog, it seems one reason is that they had time to do the recording properly.

You couldn’t want for a better opening song than “Dance Pretty Woman”, if this doesn’t fill the dance floor nothing will.  “By My Side”, “Fast Fast Car” & “Talk Is Cheap” will keep it full as will Sleepy John Estes’ “Everybody Ought To Make A Change”, which gets a very impressive band workout. They deal with social issues as well, with aging the subject of “Death If You Find Me” featuring a double-tracked vocal & some fine harp work from Williams. “Shine” is an ambitious slide-driven song that asks a beauty to shine her love on our narrator, the album highlight. “Evil Coming Round” is a doom-laden number driven by Stanton’s low-tuned bass, musically very impressive but the lyrics use pretty much every cliché you can think of. “You’re Gone” is also very good with quite a nice tune.

They were just here at Monarch’s and I hope you caught some of the new tunes. The CD will be officially launched at Irene’s Pub in Ottawa on November 28. The web site is