Gypsy Soul Records
This is the new self-titled debut by Canada’s Bywater Call. The Toronto based southern soul, blues and roots ensemble has already made their mark at Blues Festivals including the Tremblant International Blues Festival; the Quebec City Donnacona Blues Festival and The Markham Jazz Festival. The band’s influences include New Orleans R n’ B, Chicago Blues and Memphis Soul especially the music of Elmore James, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and The Band.
The ensemble includes Meghan Parnell, lead vocals; Dave Barnes, guitars; Alan Zemaitis, keyboards; Mike Meusel, bass; Bruce McCarthy, drums; and the horn section of Stephen Dyte, trumpet; and Julian Nalli, tenor and baritone saxophones. Background vocalists include Samantha Martin who also fronts her own band Delta Sugar; Stacie Tabb; Sherie Marshall, Chantal Williams and Carleigh Aikins. The album is co-produced by Darcy Yates and Renan Yildizdogan; and recorded by Yates at The Taurus Recording Studio in Toronto.
The band has a fully mature sound with great keyboard work from Zemaitis. The horn players and guitarist Barnes are equally fine as their playing is contained and always in support of the song. The ten original tracks were written by Barnes, Parnell and the band; including three songs co-written by Joe Ernewein, and two co-written with Tom Juhas.
All of the performances are outstanding especially the opener “Arizona” featuring the backing vocalists. One is immediately impressed with lead vocalist Parnell who sings with great intonation and clarity. Other highlights include “Talking Backwards; “Bring Me Down”; “Silver Lining” with producer Yates sitting in on bass and Adam Warner on drums; and “Walk On By”. They close with “Swing Low”.
The band thanks Gypsy Soul Records and The Toronto Blues Society. Bywater Call is a future Maple Blues Award winner and should be a challenger at next year’s Blues Music Awards in the Emerging Artist category.