Sunday Wilde & Reno Jack- "Howling For My Darling" (Hwy 11 Records): This rootsy duo from Atikokan in Northern Ontario have collaborated on eight albums over the past decade, with Wilde's 2016 album Blueberries and Grits receiving rave reviews.
Their new offering, Two, is released today. It comprises covers and original songs, and the pair's style is certainly hard to categorize. It is rooted in the blues, but there are strong country, rockabilly, and old time jazz elements in their sound too.
A standout track on an album devoid of filler, "Howling For My Darling," a cover of a Howling Wolf song, illustrates this. Wilde's powerful vocals take on a suitably raunchy tone as she pays tribute to her "sweet-loving daddy," one who "in the morning makes me jump and shout."
The lively tune features barrelhouse piano (by Wilde) and guitar that has a resonant twang, while Jack contributes supple stand-up bass. At just 2.42 in length, it is a short and sweet treat.
Reno Jack is a renowned rockabilly bassist very active on the Toronto and Vancouver scenes in the '80s and '90s, working with the likes of Handsome Ned, Johnny MacLeod, Herald Nix and many more. He released a debut solo album, Lightning Fried, in 2015.
To record Two in one single session, the pair called upon Jack's comrades on the Toronto scene. The all-star band featured comprised drummer Cleave Anderson (Blue Rodeo, Handsome Ned), guitarist Steve Koch (Viletones, Handsome Ned ), and John MacLeod ( G-Rays, Handsome Ned ) on harmonica and guitar. Two was co-produced by John Borra and Reno Jack, while mastering by Grammy-winner Peter J. Moore perfectly captures the authentic sound.
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