Alone in this Crowd is the title of Russell deCarle’s third album; it feels like the soundtrack of a movie in the days just before they invented Technicolor.
And, even more than his two previous albums, it may surprise those who remember deCarle as the lead vocalist and bassist of the iconic Canadian country roots band Prairie Oyster. He is no stranger to awards and accolades — his “Oyster years” were rewarded with six Juno Awards, more than a dozen Canadian Country Music Awards and enough gold and platinum records and #1 singles to fill a living room wall.
The truth is, though, that Prairie Oyster was always more than a “country” band, and deCarle’s warm, burnished and intimate voice has always honoured an eclectic range of songs.
True to form, Alone in this Crowd offers a fluent collection of songs that mix southern soul and restrained balladry, with obvious touches of jazz, blues, old-school country, and western swing.
Russell deCarle’s songwriting has absorbed all those influences, and he avidly listens to smooth soul singers and the men and women who made early country music so compelling. Like his previous (debut) solo album Under the Big Big Sky, there are eight original songs here, and three covers.
He surrounds himself with brilliant players, and the crew on this record is superb. Guitarist Steve Briggs is, as always, subtle, tasteful, and understated, but central to deCarle’s sound; bassist Russ Boswell is, simply, the perfect foundation. Drummers Al Cross and Jorn Anderson can be heard on different tracks, as well as singers Cindy Church, Erin Costelo, Karla Crawford and Michelle Willis. Other guests include Denis Keldie (accordion), John Sheard (piano) and Chris Whiteley (harmonica). deCarle, Briggs and L. Stu Young share production credits.
Steve Briggs’ notoriety as a guitarist on the Canadian music scene has evolved to venerable. Steve has performed, arranged and recorded with a wealth of artists including Sylvia Tyson, Russell deCarle, Murray McLauchlan, Leon Redbone, Quartette and Carroll Baker among many others. His western swing orchestra, the Bebop Cowboys, has garnered many glowing reviews and accolades across the country. He is co-director of Kitchen Music Studios, a music school in Toronto which he runs with his partner Kristin. www.kitchenmusictudios.com
Russ Boswell has performed with some on Canad’s top artists like David Wilcox, Corey Hart, Seals and Crofts, Ian Thomas and The Parachute Club just to name a few.
Recording credits include Serena Rider, Corey Hart, David Wilcox, John Landry, Russell deCarle and the list goes on….
Theatre credits include Joseph and the Amazing Tecnicolor Dreamcoat, Tommy, Rent, Hairspray, Dirty Dancing, Hair! And Rock of Ages.