Blue Moon Marquee – Gypsy Blues | Album Review

bluemoonmarqueecdBlue Moon Marquee – Gypsy Blues


CD: 12 Songs, 41:33 Minutes       

Styles: “Gypsy Blues,” Swamp Blues, Contemporary Electric Blues

Throughout history, gypsies have been nomads, wandering from town to town and forming their culture out of whatever treasures they find along the way. Therefore, one might expect Blue Moon Marquee’s self-styled Gypsy Blues to be eclectic, exhibiting several influences, such as Tom Waits, Lonnie Johnson, Skip James, and Django Reinhardt. This is indeed true, and they weave these musical threads together into a rich tapestry for all to enjoy. Even purists will tip their hats to the authentic, gritty swamp feel of several of their twelve original numbers. Lead singer and guitarist A.W. Cardinal’s smoky vocals resemble Howlin’ Wolf’s, so some critics might say he doesn’t actually sing. Nevertheless, once one acquires their taste, they sure are tasty. Also playing keen-mojo instrumentation, he and “Jass” Collette make spellbinding blues.

According to their website, “Blue Moon Marquee is a Gypsy Blues band that stem from the wild rose foothills of Alberta. A.W. Cardinal (vocals/guitar) and Jasmine Colette a.k.a. Bandlands Jass (vocals, bass, drums) write and perform original compositions influenced by anything that swings, jumps or grooves…After living and performing in Montreal and New York City, cutting his teeth in the jazz and blues scenes, A.W. decided it was time to head home to the Rocky Mountains and bought a Greyhound ticket as long as he is tall, back to the great Canadian West to record the album Stainless Steel Heart. It was on the West Coast where he met up with Jasmine Colette, a Hoodoo lady who has toured the bulk of North America over the last eight years as a bassist, singer and hoop dancer. Blue Moon Marquee was formed after an impromptu late-night jam and recording session in February 2012.  They have since been traversing the country for nearly four years, delighting audiences from Alert Bay to Quebec City. Appealing to blues, folk, jazz, and rock audiences alike, they have played a wide array of venues from farmer’s markets and blues bars to concert halls and jazz festivals.”

The following song is one of the best this dynamite Canadian blues duo has to offer:

Track 02: “Hoodoo Lady” – “She drinks her water from the wishing well. She crossed her heart, boys, she ringin’ the bell. Well, I’m telling you; just ain’t much you can do except fall in love.” Anyone who’s entranced by jump blues will be instantly hooked by this short, sweet number. Clocking in at only two minutes and twenty-one seconds, it will make people with jumpy feet want to grab their partners for a speedy spin around the dance floor. A.W. Cardinal’s ‘50s-style electric guitar is fantastic.

Blue Moon Marquee, what it lacks in polish, makes up for in spades in terms of style, energy, and authenticity. Even though A.W. Cardinal’s vocals may be a bit too raw for some blues fans, the Gypsy Blues he and his partner play will get anyone’s mojo working!

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