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The 24th Street Wailers - Unshakeable

Produced by Lindsay Beaver, Charles Austin and the 24th Street Wailers


11 songs; 40:08 minutes

Styles: Jazz-Influenced Blues, Swing Blues, Blues Rock

All over the world, people love the blues, and that’s no exception in Canada. Toronto’s 24th Street Wailers made waves in the tightly-knit blues community by winning the Toronto Blues Society talent search. They’ve graced prestigious festival stages including the Frankfort Island, Lighthouse, Summerfolk, and Dutch Mason Blues Festivals. Most notably, however, is that the Wailers were the only English band to take part in and win both prizes of the Festiblues International du Montreal and Prize of the Bourse Air Transat/Blues-Sur-Seine. They were also semifinalists in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee in early 2012. Their newest release, a follow-up to last year’s “Dirty Little Young’Uns,” is “Unshakeable!” Fans of zesty horn sections in blues songs will slaver over this album. Powerhouse drummer Lindsay Beaver’s raw, visceral vocals are slightly reminiscent of Etta James, and they’re an acquired taste. Nevertheless, she and her quartet are best on these three out of eleven original numbers:

Track 03: “Love Triangle”--Guest guitarists Carter Chaplin and Marc Doucet join in with regular guitarist Emily Burgess in this rollicking instrumental. Each member of the trio must have pepper sauce flowing through the power cords attached to their respective guitars instead of electricity! This “Triangle” expresses pure love for the blues, and it’s the finest selection on the album itself.

Track 07: “I’m Not Free”--Lindsay Beaver slows it way down on this ballad that’s both hot and cool. The good news is that she has an admirer, but the bad news is that she’s already taken. “How should I say words that can only be locked in silence for a lifetime, maybe more?” Listen very closely for her pensive “Hmmm…” as she ponders her predicament. Barry Cooke guest stars on organ, providing soulful resonance as Lindsay’s vocals enter Joplin territory.

Track 09: “Jack, Jim, Johnny and Me”--Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes when listening to this alcohol-favorites-song, because this vibrant mixture of blues and big-band swing is the CD’s most danceable number. Guest musician Gary Potts takes a wild turn on the drums, while band member Jonathan Wong takes saxophone fans to new heights of rapture. Michael Archer backs everyone up on bass, reminding everyone that the 24th Street Wailers are a true ensemble, and none of them stand alone. Abandon your armchairs and grab a partner before it’s too late!

The 24th Street Wailers were nominated for New Artist of the Year at the Maple Blues Awards and nominated for Blues Album of the Year at the Indie Awards in 2012. With their Unshakeable energy, enthusiasm, originality, and passion for blues music, their star will continue to rise nationwide in the U.S.!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 32 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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