The Band continues to have much to offer emerging musicians.
Turn on an episode of Allison Brock’s Wide Cut Country Saturday mornings on the mighty CKUA, and the influence of the Canadian-Southern rock band is heard any number of times.
Slip Matchedash Parish’s flamboyant new release Saturday Night, and the sound of The Band is again brought to life. Separated by decades, sometimes this is patently obvious and deliberate, as on the lead track “When the Rains Come,” written and performed as a tribute to the group and especially Richard Manuel. Elsewhere it is more subtle, as an organ refrain slides through the textured instrumentation (Lance Anderson’s “Where There Is Love” sung by Matt Weidinger, I believe) or when a guitar riff leads into a soulful country ballad (Anderson’s “Hopeless Romantic.”)
Featuring a twelve-person lineup, Matchedash Parish was envisioned by Lance Anderson as an elaborate outlet for his songs, and those of fellow keyboard wizard Matt Weidinger: multi-instrumentalists (Hammond, Wurlitzer, and piano each, Weidinger also contributing guitars and mandolin, while Anderson brings along his accordion and clarinet) with a vision for music that is both contemporary and well-rooted in their influences.
The pair share lead vocal duties. R & B vocalist Quisha Wint sings the lead on “God Gave You Hands,” while also enriching the arrangements with background vocals alongside Michelle White and Jill Zadeh.
The rhythms of New Orleans are prominent (“Congo Strut” and “St. John’s Marchedash Parish Hall”) as are liberal interpretation of sounds echoing the rural south (“Afraid,” “Nothing to Say.”) The sole cover is an unrestrained re-imaging of “Lady Madonna.”
Recorded across a two-day bash a year ago in Toronto, Saturday Night is sure to prove popular with those looking for an excuse to roll back the rug and get the bottles shaking.