NEW CRYBABY ALBUM...
Rae's voice and lyrics have created a touchstone 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."
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 their 1996 debut, Paintings (produced by Peter J. Moore). Toronto's Eye Magazine placed it alongside offerings from Lyle Lovett and 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.
Late in 2016, Rae brought Crybaby back together for two notable shows to mark the 20 Year Anniversary of the release of Paintings. The audience reaction was so strong that it took them into the studio to record a cover. That grew by one original song. And then another and then it became a full-length album. The band now includes Steve Koch (Ron Sexsmith) and Lucky Pete Lambert (Kensington Hillbillies) from the orginal Crybaby, plus Andrew Aldridge (Sarah Slean) on lead guitar, Greg Brisco (Junkhouse, Ginger St. James) on keys, and Scott Bell (The Dinner Belles) on bass.
Still is due for release in early 2018 and promises to live up to expectations.
Between Crybaby projects, Rae released three albums. In 2001, again working with noted Toronto producer Peter J. Moore, Rae recorded her eponymous album. The result was highly praised. On his 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.'"
"Billing's voice is a remarkably fluid and expressive instrument, honest and pure, assured and desperate at the same time." Greg Quill, Toronto Star.
With her next album, Blue Black Night, Rae re-established her connection with old friends, Cleave Anderson (Blue Rodeo) on drums, Steve Koch (Crybaby, Ron Sexsmith) on guitar and Derrick Brady (Hawksley Workman, Serena Ryder) on bass. Plus, on B3 and piano was Matt Horner (Mary Margaret O'Hara) and providing backups were Greg Clarke (Corndogs) and 'Lucky' Pete Lambert (Crybaby, Kensington Hillbillies), plus a guest appearance by Garth Hudson on The Dream. Again, the album was critically lauded... "There are not many albums that catch you by the throat as this one does... Blue Black Night is such a rare moment." Freddy Celis, Rootstime, Belgium
"There is a depth to Billing's voice that reaches into the soul and it's complemented perfectly by Steve Koch's guitarwork." Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator
Then, in 2013, Rae, working with her band at that time, the multi-talented Unpayables, created Walls and Fences. The Unpayables consisted 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.
Walls and Fences was chosen as the Number One Album of the Month by Penguin Eggs magazine.
"Powerfully poetic songs," Kerry Doole, All Canadian Music
"There is a depth to her songs few contemporaries have yet to hone." Jason MacNeil, All Music Guide.
|Top of the page|