It may have been a couple of years since The Good Lovelies last studio album but promising news has arrived that a new set of songs are in the pipeline for a possible early 2014 release. However those impatient for their fix of this talented Canadian trio have the added bonus of this live release and a summer UK visit to look forward to in the meantime. Recorded live in Toronto towards the end of last year, the band have managed to capture the magic that has made their live gigs treasured events and a flavour of the shows UK fans enjoyed last spring.
In self producing this live album, The Good Lovelies (Kerrie Ough, Sue Passmore and Caroline Brooks) have selected thirteen tracks and interspersed them with three anecdotal inserts that I believe were shared with many audiences on the last tour. However to enhance the sound quality, they invited three session musicians to join them for these recording shows with Paul Mathew (bass), Les Cooper (guitar/percussion) and Christine Bougie (electric/lap steel) certainly adding value. The latter is becoming increasingly well known in the UK due to now having a couple of Gretchen Peters’ tours under her belt.
Despite being accomplished songwriters as well as exceptional singers and multi-musicians, the girls are always keen to experiment with interesting cover versions and the five selected songs for this recording really highlighted their diverse influences. Having witnessed the girls breathtaking version of Leonard Cohen’s standard ‘Hallelujah’ live in an acoustically wonderful church setting last year, it was no surprise to see that featured here in its rightful place as curtain caller. The spine tingling harmonies brought back great memories and it’s wonderful to have a permanent recording of this fantastic version. Their other influences are generally pretty conventional in Bruce Springsteen, Gram Parson and acclaimed Canadian alt-country outfit Deep Dark Woods. However their choice of an old time number ‘Heebie Jeebies’ made famous by The Boswell Sisters in the 1930’s exemplified the diversity.
Of the eight original tracks on the album, the main focus tended to be the most recent release LET THE RAIN FALL with my personal favourite being the exquisite travelling song ‘Old Highway’. From their Juno award winning self titled album it was of no surprise to see the crowd participation favourite ‘Lie Down’ featured and ‘Taboo’ was selected from the band’s inaugural album OH MY. The recording does include two self penned tracks that are not to be found on The Good Lovelies three previous releases so ‘Tuesday Night’ and ‘Duvet Love’ may re-surface sometime in the future.
Unashamedly this release cannot be recommended highly enough as it is a superb introduction to the band for the uninitiated while ardent fans can revel in their old favourites recorded in a different format. After sampling this fabulous live album, there will be a guaranteed insatiable desire to experience the real thing, so check out one of their live UK shows in June and July.