A MAN IS JUST A MAN–SUPERHERO–I REALLY DIG YOU–CRAZY–MY BABY LOVES ME–A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN–I’LL MEET YOU THERE–TONIGHT–BITE YOUR TONGUE–YOU BOOGIE TOO FAST FOR ME–A PLACE IN THE CITY–SOME DAY SOON
Robin Banks is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets, but let’s hope not for much longer. She is based out of Toronto, but she has played all over the world. Her latest album, “Modern Classic,” teams her with producer Duke Robillard, who adds guitar throughout. The Duke also brought along his “usual suspects” to back her, including Bruce Bears on keys, Mark Teixeira on drums, Brad Hallen on bass, and the horn section of Doug James, Doug Woolverton, and Mark Early.
This is one of those, well, modern classic sets where the singer is perfectly matched with the material, and the album is intended to be listened to as a whole in its entirety, just like back in the good ole days of vinyl LP’s. All the songs are written by Robin, and she touches on several genres’ along the way. She has a smooth, even-keeled tone in her vocals, making this one enjoyable set. The leadoff “A Man Is Just A Man” and “I’ll Meet You There in my dreams” are smooth and soulful, while “Tonight” and “I Really Dig You” feature Bruce’s piano and brush-stroked drums to evoke a jazzy feel. “Crazy” is a true torch song, and “A Place In The City” even has a touch of twang.
We had two favorites, too, that explored her bluesier side. She tells a potential suitor that she’s no cougar, and makes it plain “you’re too young for me” in the soulful strut of “Bite Your Tongue,” and another paramour with an agenda gets told “You Boogie Too Fast For Me!”
The comparisons to Diana Krall will be inevitable, but Robin has an edge with her versatility and ease of handling various genres’. She truly deserves a broader audience, and “Modern Classic” may just be the jumpstart she’s looking for! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.