CATHERINE–LONG WALK HOME–AROUND MY HEART–SNOWED IN–WAY DOWN TOWN–THE BALLAD OF DON RICH AND BUCK OWENS–COLD SNAP–INVINCIBLE–MARY JOSEPH/MARY JOE–REASON TO SMILE–WRONG–ELMDALE
The folks that are the heart and soul of Cornflower Blue come from Ottawa, Ontario, and, as you listen to their latest album, “Invincible,” you’ll hear elements of classic country, rock, and folk, conjuring up memories of Johnny and June, Gram and Emmylou, and, even Buck and Don. They use the occurrences of everyday life, along with all its hopes and dreams, heartbreaks and victories, as elements on which to build their original songs, and combine searing guitars right next to the fiddles to achieve their desired sounds.
Cornflower Blue are Theresa McInerney and Trevor May on guitar and vocals, with Deanna McDougall on the fiddle, Dasha Korycan on bass, and Robbie (Vegas) MacLeod on drums. We can only imagine how cold an Ottawa winter must be, and the band uses that bitter cold as the backdrop for several of the cuts herein. Theresa’s poignant lyrics of the homeless who live “Way Down Town” are punctuated by somber guitars and fiddle lines in keeping with the subject matter. “Cold Snap” rides a freight-train beat, as our heroine bemoans “water frozen in the toilet bowl,” and “a cold cup of coffee that reminds me of you!”
The leadoff cut has Trevor turning to the bottle for help with “Catherine,” realizing his mistakes and asking for “a second chance.” And, the exuberance and pure joy of youth is addressed thru the eyes of a child with “Pokemon and Picachu cards” in his pocket, and is thus “Invincible on the playground today,” set over an equally-playful arrangement.
We had two favorites, too. That snowy cold comes back into play as Theresa portrays the lover given the kiss-off from a guy looking to “make the most of his life’s story,” making for a “Long Walk Home.” And, “fast cars, cowboy boots, loud guitars and Nudie suits” serve as the theme for the ode to Bakersfield’s favorite sons, “The Ballad Of Don Rich And Buck Owens.” Astute listeners (over 50, probably!) can’t help but notice a chorus of “Buckaroo” at the break!
Cornflower Blue are extremely talented musicians and writers. They have a sweet grasp of classic sounds, and know how to bring a contemporary spin to everything, making “Invincible” a set to which we can all relate! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.