Artist: Blue Moon Marquee
Album: Gypsy Blues
Release Date: 06/17/2016
Blue Moon Marquee is composed of duo A.W. Cardinal (vocals/guitar) and Jasmine Colette a.k.a. Bandlands Jass (vocals, bass, drums). The two have previously released two albums: Lonesome Ghosts and Last Dollar. Gypsy Blues is the Canadian band’s most recent compilation of smoky blues-jazz numbers that celebrate themes of whiskey, gambling and hoodoo.
A standout feature of Gypsy Blues is its trove of colorful and atmospheric lyrics, with songs that each tell an individual story. “Hoodoo Lady” sings of a woman with “Pennies in her purse/ candles in her hand/ moon in the mirror/ and a burning cigarette.”
Cardinal comes in with some mellow, catchy guitar in “Saddle Sore” and “Pour Me One,” but the tracks do tend to blend together a bit as the album progresses. While the songs each stand firmly enough on their own, as a collection it would be nice to see a little bit more play with tempo and sound. The song “Spy Hill” stands out for this reason, with its clink of chains and quiet moaning, setting a somber tone for a song about a convicted criminal. Cardinal’s raspy vocals are accompanied occasionally by Colette’s smoother voice in “Double Barrel Blues” and “Ain’t No Stranger” and it’s a shame that more of Colette’s vocals don’t make it onto the album, since the two create a nice duality in the contrast of high and low.