Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

BLUE MOON MARQUEE

BARE KNUCKLES & BRAWN

2019-09-09

BLUE MOON MARQUEE

BARE KNUCKLES & BRAWN

2019, Blue Moon Marquee Music

Blue Moon Marquee is a duo featuring A. W. Cardinal on vocals and guitars and Jasmine Colette on bass and vocals. On this, their 4th full length disc, they are accompanied by a number of guests who contribute piano, Hammond B3, tenor and baritone sax, drums, trumpet and an additional guitar to the mix. Together this crew has stewed up a rich mix of blues and vintage jazz that recalls bands like the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Asylum Street Spankers with a fun, loose vibe permeating the bulk of the disc. Cardinal’s gritty vocals add a salty counter-point to many of the eleven original tracks found here while Colette takes saucy leads on "Hard Times Hit Parade" and the upbeat homage to Billie Holiday, "52nd Street Strut". Standard blues themes such as failing love, "Wayward", lust, "Smoke Rings for My Rider", the lover who is always on your mind, "Fever Flickering Flame" and being unable to avoid trouble, "The Red Devil Himself", find their place alongside concerns for the environment, "Big Smoke", and the role that oil plays in luring us into trouble, "Big Black Mamba". Another refreshing twist from the many blues discs where the men pretend to be in command appears on "As I Lay Dying" which makes it abundantly clear there is room for a woman to be in charge. Overall, a fine effort worthy of repeated play. Smitty

review by Mark

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