Perhaps the best way to describe Canadian “Gypsy Blues” duo Blue Moon Marque is to imagine Tom Waits doing Cab Calloway numbers. It’s an unusual style, but it works on Bare Knuckles & Brawn.
The duo, which features A.W. Cardinal on vocals and guitar and Jasmine Colette on vocals and upright bass, captures a unique feel and delivers the listener to a different time and place – a welcome diversion from today’s bizarre zeitgeist. The duo’s influences include early blues, jazz, ragtime and swing music, among others.
On Bare Knuckles & Brawn, which features some snappy original tunes, including “Big Black Mamba,” “Smoke Rings For My Rider,” “High Noon” and “52nd Street Strut,” the gravel-voiced Cardinal takes turns singing with the silky, sultry Colette, which provides a nice mix. The duo lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia, where they dream this stuff up. For a sample of their earlier work, check out the video below.
Blue Moon Marquee was jointed on the album by Darcy Phillips on keyboards, Jerry Cook on saxes and clarinet, Jimmy ‘Hollywood’ Badger on drums, Jack Garton on trumpet, and Paul Pigat on guitar.
About the author: Bill Wilcox is a roots music enthusiast recently relocated from the Washington, DC area to Philadelphia, PA and back again.