Independent LC2011 www.loricullen.com
Lori Cullen is a steadfast presence on the music scene in Toronto, consistently producing fine albums and appearing in and putting together live shows that bring together dozens of talented local artists. Although her songwriting is strong, I like her best as a song stylist and her latest, “That Certain Chartreuse,” is dominated by examples of that unique talent. Along with guitarist/partner Kurt Swinghammer, bassist Maury Lafoy, drummer Mark Mariash and keyboardist David Matheson, everyone from the Bee Gees to Suzanne Vega to King Crimson gets the careful caress of Cullen's interpretations. Rainy Day People is given an emotional depth it never had at the hands of Gordon Lightfoot (as un-Canadian as that may be to say). While Baubles, Bangles and Beads gets a delightful and crazy mix of sitar-like guitar sounds, a hint of Optimistic Voices-style vocal arrangements, and trumpet playing, courtesy of Bryden Baird, that has the distinct Cullen/Swinghammeresque imprint. The Shania Twain hit that she wrote with her now very ex husband, Forever and For Always, is done without irony and restores our faith in the possibility of love and loyalty.