Crybaby: A Melody Behind

Crybaby - "A Melody Behind" (Independent): Back before the term Americana was coined, Toronto roots-rock outfit Crybaby made a splash in the mid-'90s with a sparkling 1996 debut record, Paintings, produced by Grammy-winner Peter J. Moore.

The band imploded shortly after, but recently reunited, with a slightly different lineup. A second album, Still, is complete, and the first track released, "A Melody Behind," shows the group hasn't missed a beat. The resonant twang of the guitars neatly complements the melancholia-tinged vocals of Rae Billing.

Crybaby is built around her songs, and she delivers them in a voice redolent of emotional authenticity (Lucinda Williams is a clear reference point). She is more than ably abetted by a band comprising A-list players from Hamilton and Toronto, including guitarists Steve Koch (Ron Sexsmith) and Andrew Aldridge (Sarah Slean), Greg Brisco (Junkhouse) on keys, and drummer Lucky Pete Lambert (Kensington Hillbillies).

Young roots-based artists seem to get all the attention these days, but these seasoned veterans deserve the spotlight.

Crybaby will launch the album with CD release parties April 14 at Pearl Company in Hamilton and April 19 at Cadillac Lounge in Toronto. Edgar Breau and Colina Phillips from Simply Saucer will open the Toronto show.

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