“Mating Cry,” the new single from Toronto-based Maple Blues Band goes into the jazz world for this, and is exactly what its name suggests – a sexily strutting tune that announces its grand entrance with bright horns and a fun, cocky confidence. And its tenor sax solo by Alison Young adds just the right amount of sultriness to seal the whole deal.
Check it out on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oExIGB-B9z4
With crossover appeal in both jazz and blues, Maple Blues Band reached No. 1 on the Roots Music Report’s Canadian Album Chart for a fifth week total for their album Let’s Go, consisting of 12 of the instrumental compositions the band compiled during their association with The Maple Blues Awards. Their release of a full-length album of instrumental music is part of a master plan to launch the group into the performance market of festivals and concerts.
“Mating Cry” was composed by the late piano/organ genius Michael Fonfara. A founding member of The Maple Blues Band, Fonfara was with the band for 16 years.
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/6yqax4NTjBoryaBNQq4fKc?si=9deee80e7a2c4905&nd=1
“We added ‘Mating Cry’ to a show we did at the Calgary Blues Festival in August 2021 to make sure we wouldn’t run out of material,” recalls band leader Gary Kendall. “When I was editing a performance video of that show I realized that our version of that song was strong and should be added to the recording plans. And especially because it’s a fitting tribute to Fonf, who passed away in January, 2021.”
A highlight of the recording is Young’s aforementioned sax solo. “Alison is normally on baritone saxophone in our horn section, but I asked her to switch to tenor for the solo at our sessions,” Kendall recounts. “It was a good call for sure!”
The Maple Blues Band consists of Gary Kendall, bass/band leader; Pat Carey, tenor/saxophone/horn arrangements; Teddy Leonard, guitar; Al Lerman, harmonica; Jim Casson, drums; Lance Anderson, piano/Hammond B3 and accordionist; Howard Moore, trumpet; Meirion Kelly, trombone; Alison Young, baritone saxophone; and Roshane Wright, percussion.
The 12 tracks on Maple Blues Band’s Cordova Bay Records release Let’s Go are a group effort, as the songwriting credits are spread over 24 years, including past and present band members.