Monday, September 28, 2009

Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark

Joni Mitchell reached her commercial high point with Court and Spark, a remarkably deft fusion of folk, pop, and jazz which stands as her best-selling work to date. While as unified and insightful as Blue, the album -- a concept record exploring the roles of honesty and trust in relationships, romantic and otherwise -- moves away from confessional songwriting into evocative character studies: the hit "Free Man in Paris," written about David Geffen, is a not-so-subtle dig at the machinations of the music industry, while "Raised on Robbery" offers an acutely funny look at the predatory environment of the singles bar scene. Much of Court and Spark is devoted to wary love songs: both the title cut and "Help Me," the record's most successful single, carefully measure the risks of romance, while "People's Parties" and "The Same Situation" are fraught with worry and self-doubt (standing in direct opposition to the music, which is smart, smooth, and assured from the first note to the last).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wild T and the Spirit

Though born in Trinidad, Wild 'T' (aka Tony Springer) moved to Toronto while in his teens and began playing local clubs. He received several regional awards for his blues guitar; with backing band Spirit (bassist Brian Dickie and drummer Danny Bilan), he has released Love Crazy (1991) and Givin' Blood (1993).

I've Got the Rhythm