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Victoria Day
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Melissa McClelland (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, background vocals); Ron Sexsmith (vocals); Luke Doucet (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lap steel guitar, banjo, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, background vocals); Kathryn Sugden, Karen Graves (violin); Johann Lotter (viola); Jim Bish (saxophone); Bryden Baird (trumpet); William Carn (trombone); Steve O'Connor (piano); Rich Levesque (upright bass, electric bass, background vocals); Al Cross (drums, percussion); Glenn Milchem, Barry Mirochnick (drums).
  • Recording information: Canterbury Music Company, Toronto, Canada; Found Sound; Mushroom Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Melissa McClelland is the wife of Canadian singer/songwriter Luke Doucet, guitarist for Sarah McLachlan's touring band. Like her husband's, McClelland's music is rootsy, with touches of blues, jazz, country, and folk-rock. Doucet produced this set, McClelland's third solo outing, and he brings the same attention to detail to his wife's work that he brings to his own studio efforts. All of McClelland's tunes have compelling melodies and a considerable lyrical flair. She opens the album with the laid-back rockabilly of "A Girl Can Dream," which, with its loping beat and Doucet's restrained solo, calls to mind the early Elvis Presley staple "Tryin' to Get to You." "God Loves Me" is a sad blues that tells the story of a backwoods party girl who flirts with disaster every time she picks up a man; McClelland's understated vocal, an ominous guitar solo from Doucet, and sustained chords from Steve O'Connor's big Hammond B-3 give the tune a moody feel. "Victoria Day (May Flowers)" is a jaunty ragtime tune about living beyond one's means, with McClelland's lively vocal laughing at the thought of the money running out. Doucet drops a swinging jazzy Texas-flavored solo while the horn section blares with abandon. With players gathered from the couple's touring bands, Doucet has no trouble getting a clean, precise sound that lets each tune shine and keeps the focus where it belongs, on McClelland's luminous vocals.
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