Fuse and friends broken – why should I be blue?
In-house production / MAPL
CD: 8 songs, 28 minutes
Styles: Contemporary electric and acoustic blues rock, all original songs
"Don't rob the world of your voice." My mentor in a writing group on Facebook recently gave this wise advice. When you have something to write, write it, and when you have music to play with, play it. Everyone has something they want to express even if they long for it or their souls are shrinking. Jay Moonah, known as Broke Fuse, asks himself and the world: Why should I be blue? Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, Moonah has found a way to make his voice heard and give hope to others. The liner notes of his latest album read, “Ironically, the moment I wasn't able to work with other musicians in person was exactly the time I needed help bringing my songs to life. Although most of these articles were written prior to the 2020 Health Emergency, many took on new meaning to me during these troubled times. “He's been a staple on the Canadian music scene for over thirty years and knows that circumstances are changing, but music – especially the blues – lasts forever.
The album itself contains eight original songs that combine electric and acoustic rock for a humble but heartfelt effect. Broke Fuse even plays the ukulele on the title track as he is a co-founder of the Scarborough Uke Jam. He used to be a one-man band, but on this CD he worked with several talented souls: Frank Baraczka on drums; Alex Matthew on lead guitar; Mike McKenna on lead guitar; Matthew Bartram at the piano; Paul Butters on lead and rhythm guitar; Alex Cheung on violin and string arrangement; Steve McNie on cello; Sandra Bouza on female singing; ZenSkylar on drum loop; Frank Horvat on piano and Attila Baraczka on bass.
The biggest plus of this CD, besides the lack of covers, is the smooth instrumentation. Collaborations are like puzzles: all pieces have to fit, otherwise the overall picture looks strange. Fortunately for Broke Fuse and Friends, they go very well together, especially on the opener "Blow All the Blues Away" and the upbeat swing-time instrumental "The Runner Duck". The biggest minus is the singing. Conversation is a dying art indeed, but there's only one in the blues business as of now. The only song it works in is "Bluffer's Blues," which also includes harsh lyrics: "I'm scared and can't stand it." I've written, but I can't erase it … And by my own admission, I'm stuck in that position, a student who keeps failing the test. "Who of us has not felt this way at least once? Such attributable feelings make you listen and occupy yourself with Moonah's music.
Broke Fuse's latest offering may not be perfect, but in dark times we need all the help and inspiration we can give.
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