Review: Miss Quincy, Like the Devil Does
Got a hot date Saturday night? This is the album for it. If things go well, it works for Sunday morning too…in fact just pause it around track four or five and you’ve got the perfect mood shift for waking up all swoony and ready for brunch.
I’m always looking for a Sunday morning record, and so far, nothing has replaced Joni Mitchell’s Blue; Like the Devil Does is a strong contender for that privilege. Miss Quincy, a B.C. native, is joined by Calgarian music royalty Ron Casat on Hammond/piano and Tim Williams playing (like, everything) and handling production duties. The title track is a steamy blues number with soul-inflected organ and a scorching guitar riff, and the mood stays for the next few tracks. Miss Quincy could set her smoky voice in the wrong direction by oversinging and dominating the tracks; instead on songs like “Going Down”, she’s restrained all the way through, making you hold your breath for a tantalizing climax that never quite arrives.
Things take a seductive turn in the only cover on the album, Nina Simone’s song of cute metaphors, “I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl”. (“I want a little steam on my clothes…”). And then it’s into some acoustic roots territory with fiddle based “Dangerous” and lush Louisiana ballad, “’Til the Money Comes In”. Alyssa Jean Gardner adds some beautiful harmonies to create a timbrally effective pairing in the voices.
I like sardonic lines like “She may be easy, but she ain’t cheap/She throws her love around, but it’s not for free” on “Dawson City Line” or “Don’t blame me or blame yourself/if you fall for me, boy, when you should fall for someone else/…it’s a shame what I do to you” on “Hurricane”. Makes me think she’ll do a nice live show.
Don’t mistake the presence of Williams and Casat as the result of men taking over yet another blues record; they are very nearly overshadowed by the all-female rhythm section, The Showdown. And Miss Quincy herself anchors the songs with her deft guitar playing that nicely complements Shari Rae’s subtle bass. What I like best about the album, though, aside from the slow and easygoing mood it sets, is the songwriting. All originals, Miss Quincy proves that some fun and originality don’t have to be abandoned for a visit to a well-entrenched genre. She’s probably also pleased the jury of the B.C. Indie Awards with this album after winning Folk/Traditional Recording of the Year in 2011.
Miss Quincy is currently on tour with the band through Europe and Canada.