Sunday Wilde & The 1 Eyed Jacks
Self-Release – 2019
11 tracks; 43 minutes
Canadian Sunday Wilde returns with her eighth album, a combination of eight originals and three covers. This is a new band as Sunday lost her partner and bassist Jack Reno a couple of years ago. The new core band is Sunday on keys and vocals, Arek ‘A-Train’ Chamski on upright bass and Colin Craig on drums; Arek also plays ukelele on two tracks and guitar is added, by Ari Lahdekorpi on eight tracks, Greg Schultz on two and Ken Patterson on one.
Harpdog Brown is quoted in the PR information as finding Sunday’s voice ‘unique and addictive’ but some may find her distinctive vocal style an acquired taste. The vocals do give some songs a bit of a jazz flavour which is enhanced by the double bass and electric piano that Sunday favours; try “Love Is” and “Dead Man’s Clothes” as examples of that style. “Show Me Mercy” has a brooding edge from the guitar stylings behind Sunday’s pleading vocal about being alone while “My Baby’s Dead” has a bouncing tune from the jagged ukulele but ‘down’ lyrics about a dream which sounds like a genuine nightmare. Of course the loss of a partner will have an effect on the music and “Spirits Up My Friend” is dedicated to Jack, a slow tune with stately piano, bowed bass and Ken Patterson’s guitar appearing briefly at the beginning, the drums sitting this one out.
In contrast “Captured Me” is an upbeat track with honky tonk piano and thumping bass as Sunday tells us of a guy who rushed her off her feet and “Swear You’re Cheatin’” is a good foot-tapper with Ari’s guitar adding a touch of rock n’ roll. Album closer “I Guess I Didn’t Hear You Right” is another slow tune about waiting in vain for a guy who does not turn up, the ethereal guitar adding to the generally tearful feel of the song.
The covers include a rollicking version of Willie Dixon and Billy Emerson’s “Dead Presidents” on which Greg’s guitar adds to the bottom end of the music as Sunday’s piano takes the centre stage. A second Dixon tune “Evil” gets a makeover with Ari’s eerie guitar set against Sunday’s piano and vocal though the sense of evil conveyed by Howling Wolf’s seminal version is not there. Mel London’s oft-covered “It Hurts Me Too” starts at a funereal pace and stays a pretty laid back version, especially in Ari’s languid solo.
Sunday’s fans will enjoy her latest with a new band.