Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough, and Sue Passmore met during 2006 at a Christmas concert at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Canada. Thus the Good Lovelies were born. Since their formation they have become a popular Canadian concert act, constantly traveling from coast to coast. Their self-titled 2010 release won the Canadian Juno Award for Best Roots and Traditional Album Of The Year. They have now returned with their latest release, Let The Rain Fall.
The Good Lovelies have a quirky sound that can be tremendously appealing.While they describe themselves as a Canadian roots or modern folk trio, that definition does not do justice to their overall sound.
Their latest release can best be described as the Andrew Sisters on steroids. Their vocals and harmonies make me think of a modernized version of the classic big band era trio, but with a little more pep and energy and certainly with more sass and an in your face appeal. The instrumental backing, on the other hand, travels in a country, folk and even bluegrass direction. It all adds up to a nice and unique fusion of styles and sounds, which combine to provide a worthwhile listening experience.
On stage the three women are adept at six or seven stringed instruments and constantly trade and switch. For this album they also use a backing band, which includes bassist Marc Rogers, drummer Christine Bougie, and some nice harp work by Les Cooper to support their own work on the acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, mandolin, and lap steel. Still, the foundation of their music is their harmonies and lyrics.
Their music travels in two basic directions. There are songs that are clever and amusing but every once in a while they put forth a song of rare beauty that makes the listener sit up and take notice as it is a counterpoint to what has come before it.
The first three tracks, “Made For Rain,” “Free,” and “Old Highway,” establish their sound and style with tight harmonies, bouncy melodies, and creative lyrics. It is followed by “Best I Know,” which is a beautiful and well-constructed love song with lyrics that approach love and longing from an unusual direction.
The other outstanding tracks are “Kiss Me In The Kitchen,” which is a light and free-spirited ode to love and the French Mrs. T.
The Good Lovelies are a group waiting to be discovered in the United States. Let The Rain Fall is a sophisticated album by a trio that has learned its craft well. It deserves to find an audience.