Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nicole Christian "Run Rabbit Run"

Nicole Christian is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter and guitarist. Her newest release, Run Rabbit Run, was recently voted the Best Debut Roots and Blues Album of 2010 award by the Underground Blues Network. There are 11 songs on "Run Rabbit Run," and all of them are written by Nicole, except one ("Barn Dance") which is written by Nicole and Stephen King. Yes, that Stephen King. Seems the esteemed writer has taken a shine to Nicole's work, which can't hurt anything. Some of the songs here are played solo and some are played by Nicole and the her band the Caravan--Roberta Hunt on keys, Vide on electric guitar, Alfie Smith on slide guitar and Jeremy Edwardes on harp and bass clarinet.

Christian's music is a little folk, a little roots, and a lot of bottle-neck blues. Remember the great music by The Band? Nicole Christian could be the Daughter From Big Pink. Listening to this cd is a treat--I played this cd straight through three times. There is an intelligence to her lyrics, a toughness to the music that is appealing. There is an acoustic vibe--similar to recent releases by Ernie Hawkins and Jay Gaunt--of music played for the joy of it. Highlights include "Shelter Blues" which has a cool violin and piano accompaniment, and "Lay Me Down" which reminds me of Ruthie Foster, and the title track, which has a great harp and guitar and piano thing going on and is, I think, the best song here. In a perfect world I could imagine several songs here getting radio play, some on blues radio and some on country radio, some on both.

This is an independent release. You can buy it at http://www./