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John & The Sisters

JOHN AND THE SISTERS (NorthernBlues Music)
• John and The Sisters

Canadian guitarist Kevin Breit’s profile was raised significantly recently when he started touring and recording with phenomenon Norah Jones. Still, those only exposed to his gorgeous, tasteful but restrained work with Jones are getting but a tiny glimpse of the man’s talent. Breit’s work with singers Cassandra Wilson and Holly Cole reveals a bit more of his creativity, and the under-appreciated Supergenerous outing on Blue Note hinted at his prodigious powers, but to hear the full range of his dexterity on all things stringed (guitar, banjo, mandolin, lap steel, etc.) you would need to go to his website--povertyplaylist.com--and order some of his many solo records. There you can also obtain a number of records by The Sisters Euclid, a band that Breit organized for an ongoing weekly residency at Toronto’s Orbit Room. The Sisters (Breit, Rob Gusevs on organ, Gary Taylor on drums, and Ian DeSouza on bass) have spent seven years of Mondays forging a unique, high energy, roots-jazz sound savored by few outside of the one Canadian metropolis.

NorthernBlues Music started exposing Breit’s wizardry to a wider audience last year, releasing a magical collaboration with fellow picker Harry Manx on the wonderful Jubilee. (see our review) Now they have alchemized another potent musical potion by teaming the Sisters with Canadian blues shouter John Dickie. Proof of this project’s kismet factor is that it was recorded virtually live in three days, much like another classic: John Hiatt’s Bring The Family. The results recall, at various times, Captain Beefheart ("Too Damn Big"), The Band ("Faithful"), ZZ Top ("Penguin Walk"), and War ("L,A"). Taken altogether you get a record that will piss off lovers of categories and delight everyone else. "Treat Her Right"--not the Roy Head tune--offers a more pastoral instrumental version of Breit and The Sisters, a sneak preview of some of what you might find if you track down the Poverty Playlist catalog. Maybe if we are really lucky, NorthernBlues Music will distribute the full catalog and the world will get a larger taste of some awesome Toronto talent. Until then, don’t miss John and The Sisters. • Michael Ross

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