NorthernBlues summoned a great bunch of gospel talent from both sides of the US / Canada border. The two producers come from diverse musical styles. Michael Fonfara handles keyboard chores with the famed Downchild Blues Band while Frazier Mohawk is renowned for his association with Elektra Records, Buffalo Springfield, Rhinoceros, Nico and the fondly remembered Holy Modal Rounders. Three of the musicians on this CD trace their roots back to Rhinoceros.
A further measure of quality control is realized by going the extra step and recording the session at the legendary Puck’s Farm Studio
near Toronto. The superb sound of The Studio
was favored by notable jazzers Sam Noto, Lorne Lofsky, Moe Koffman, Gene Lees and Sir Roland Hannah. You can believe their boast that the "The sound in the country is even cleaner than the air."
This is rocking’ down home music and is often branded Hard Gospel
. The four featured singers each contribute in their individual ways. The title song, Saved
, is a product of bassist Tim Drummond who collaborated on the piece with Bob Dylan in 1980. "Saved" gets a rousing vocal treatment by Danny Brooks who also stars on Righteous Highway
and Still Standing Tall
. Brooks is a major talent with a fiery style.
Hiram Joseph shows great versatility as he leads the group on Down By The Riverside
, A Place Called Hope
and People get ready
. His voice is strong and pure. Hiram is a traditionalist in every sense of the word.
John Finley is a Californian and widely appreciated there as a soloist for Alexander Hamilton and the Voices of Inspiration. Finley shows his abilities as a vocalist, pianist and vocal arranger. His vocal on A Change Is Gonna Come
Amoy Levy supplies the exciting female vocals on the album. Her bubbling style lends itself perfectly to her featured pieces, Higher Ground
and the rousing 24 / 7/ 365
. Ms. Levy was guest soloist on a recent CD by The Toronto Mass Choir.
This fine album features some great guitar work by Bob Yeomans and hard rocking’ keyboard by Michael Fonfara. Saved
is a fine session and worthy of your attention. The CD will hit the streets on October 20, 2002.