24th Street Wailers
Unshakeable – Independent
Who says blues music is by and for old folks? The 24th St. Wailers’ sophomore album Un- shakeable shows that this quartet of Ca- nadian youngsters has a firm grip on what makes the music joyous.They are true to the traditions of the music they create, but are also innovative and playful.They write their own stuff, and drummer Lindsay Beaver handles the vocals.The result here is noth- ing but good times. “Howlin’” is a highlight of the record, but everything else is good, too. Folks returning from the recent Vancou- ver Island Music Festival couldn’t say enough about saxophonist Jonathan Wong’s live per- formances, and his playing on the album is a treat.The band asserts with some pride that Unshakeable was recorded and mixed using no computers, and the music consequently comes across as fresh and loose.As universi- ty-trained music students, the Wailers might have been excused for being “academic” in their attitudes to roots and blues music: they are anything but! The music has a rockin’, kitchen party feel. If you want 40 minutes of something new, fun and cheeky that nods to tradition, this is worth your while.
“There ain’t anything new under the sun”; “kids today don’t know blues” . . . neither of these claims are true, and the 24th St.Wailers prove it.
- Jim Martens