CD review: RESONANCE ROAD
By: Dan Brisebois
Calgary’s long been established as one of Canada’s hottest rhythm & blues hotbeds, not only for churning out some of the country’s top country and pop stars. With their sophomore release, RESONANCE ROAD, Gunn is carrying on that tradition. With Corrine Buschmeyer on vocals and guitarist Greg Gunhold (ex of Qwest), the band’s rounded out by Danny Zane on bass, Brock Gillis on the hammond b3, and drummer Sally Chappus.
On RESONANCE ROAD, the slide guitar takes exactly one second to start grabbing you, taking you on a slick road that Gunhold expertly weaves down. Avoiding unnecessary and pretentious flash, this is a throwback to several eras. It just happens to have a powerful motor behind it and be well produced – a testament to five musicians who take their vehicle seriously, and have been part of the Calgary vibe long enough to have seen more than their share of flashes in the pan.
There’s something about an organ in lieu of keyboards and synthesizers that keeps the record natural, and the band’s commitment to keeping the sound honest starts off with the lead-off “Sumethin’ I Hate (About Myself),” where Gillis lets loose on the first of several groovy throwback organ solos throughout the album.
Buschmeyer’s vocals are reminiscent of a Joplin, maybe with a bit of Lang thrown in, and yet still manages to carve out her own highlights, including “China White,” which has a jazz groove thing all its own happening and “Let You Go,” the most pop oriented track on the record.
“Burn Down” and “Motown Blues” are both a return to when the root of a solid blues instrumental had a great beat as its root, rounded out with a passion for a craft – reminiscent of anything a good BB King or George Benson number would consist of. “Georgia Shuffle” and “Lazy” slide their way into that category, as well, but with a heavier foot on the pedal, straying into Stevie Ray category.
The Beatles’ “Elanore Rigby” is the only cover, a clever interpretation of a classic, sleaked up – smooth and slutty. The time shifts are slick and production oozes tender caresses. You liked it, got your money’s worth and you want more.
“Big Shoes” is a great two-piece instrumental number, nothing short of a resurrection of Hendrix himself with the guitar pedal effects. The title track meanwhile has kind of an ominous brooding feel to it, yet still kicks you with searing guitar work all its own.
With roots in the blues, powered up with a dash of jazz and pop here and there, RESONANCE ROAD is built for a comfortable ride. From start to finish, it’s a solid album that’s eclictic but still diverse enough for a wide audience range. They’ve made several indie radio stations’ lists, and you can look for nothing but better things for them in the future.