After 5 years...
Rae's voice and lyrics create a touchstone that is unique on the Canadian landscape. Her voice has been described as "shiver-inducing," "honest and pure, assured and desperate at the same time." And her lyrics and music have been lauded - "full of wide open spaces and bittersweet emotions," and called "late night, pan-Americana rootsy songs... handled with gutsy femininity."
After five years, Rae has recorded her fourth alt-country album. And it is a fluid and passionate recording. Working with the multi-talented Unpayables, consisting of Matt Coleman on violin/fiddle, Andrew Aldridge on electric guitar, K. Michael Hickey on electric and upright bass, Nick Burson on drums, plus the talents of Ed Roth on accordian and organ, producer Michael J. Birthelmer on piano and guitars, and Wayne Krawchuk on backups.
Rae was the previous lead singer and songwriter of the Toronto alt-country band,Crybaby. Lasting just three years, Crybaby won serious critical acclaim with the 1996 debut, Paintings (produced by Peter J. Moore). Toronto's Eye Magazine placed it alongside offerings from Lyle Lovettand Blackie & The Rodeo Kings as one of the Top Three Country Albums of 1996, with scribe Greg Boyd praising "the weary sensuality" of Rae's vocals.
The band also elicited kudos south of the border, specifically at Austin's famed South By Southwest Music Festival in 1997. Among the many positive reviews, visiting Nashville Scene writer, Michael McCall, characterized their music as "tangy country soul" and called Crybaby one of the "notable moments" at the festival.
In 2001, Rae put together a 'solo' album, again working with noted Toronto producer Peter J. Moore. This sonic sculptor has a well-deserved reputation for his distinct sound. Rae's first solo album was highly praised. On his cool Top Ten list of 'Anti-Hits', The Toronto Sun/ CANOE's John Sakamoto placed "Walking In A Dream", the closing cut from the album, as number 3, describing it as "a heartbreaking rumination on a mind 'slipping sideways.'"
With Blue Black Night, Rae re-established her connection with old friends, Cleave Anderson (Blue Rodeo) on drums, Steve Koch (Ron Sexsmith) on guitar and Derrick Brady (Hawksley Workman) on bass. On B3 and piano is Matt Horner (Mary Margaret O'Hara) and providing backups are Greg Clarke (Corndogs) and 'Lucky' Pete Lambert (Kensington Hillbillies), from Crybaby.
"There is a depth to her songs few contemporaries have yet to hone." Jason MacNeil, All Music Guide.
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