Every now and then, a recording comes along that makes you sit up and take notice, literally stop what you are doing, and just listen. This is one such album, a personal, soulful set of originals and covers sung by one of Canada’s finest ladies of song, Molly Johnson.
Johnson sings her life experience into these songs, and the results are riveting, moving and celebratory. Of course it helps to be in great company, and she has handpicked the best to join her on this musical journey: drummer Davide DiRenzo, guitarist Justin Abedin, keyboardist Robi Botos, bassist Mike Downes, organist Pete Kuzma and guest saxophonist Bob Sheppard. The band provides beautiful, funky and understated accompaniment throughout. It also doesn’t hurt to have renowned producer Larry Klein sitting in the recording booth.
As a master storyteller, Johnson mixes in playfulness, memorable melodic hooks and great grooves, along with many things to ponder. The aptly named Stop, a life-affirming antidote to despair, is simply stunning. Co-writers Johnson, Klein and David Baerwald deserve a place in the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame for this one.
The Gil Scott-Heron tune, Lady Day and John Coltrane, will get you up dancing and singing, and will “wash your troubles away.” Toronto composer Steve MacKinnon also deserves special mention for his collaborative efforts on the title tune and Better Than This.
Meaning To Tell Ya has many important things to say. And we’re listenin’.