Ontario-based roots rocker Terra Lightfoot’s new album, Live in Concert highlights the sophistication of the bluesy belter’s music.
Lightfoot expands her rock band with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada atHamilton’s McMaster University. It’s an unusual step for a performer whose soundis based on grit and firepower but the NAOC fleshes out Lightfoot’s materialtexturally rather than grandiose “Wall” style stadium flourishes.
The Canadiana element of Lightfoot’s rock and roll rears its sound proudly on NeverWill. The edgy beat and melodic rush of chords is harnessed easily by Lightfoot’svoice, an instrument that suggests gale force power but is never so self indulgentas to wallow in the display. Still, it’s there.
Lightfoot is a self-contained musician singer/songwriter and guitar slinger. LikeSerena Ryder, also possessed of a soul stirring voice, she can raise hellfire andcrank out blues rock raunch on her axe of choice. Strangely enough, this albumchooses to highlight her subtler side, stressing ballads and melody (NFB) over hermore fiery fare. It also reflects her range of material and adds a folk element tosome R&R drama on Lily’s Fair. Her big songs are wisely served by the tightaccompaniment of the NAOC, an undertaking that could’ve posed problems.
It’s a pairing that favours the rocker as Lightfoot exults and throws off any restraintin her celebratory road song, See You In the Morning. They sound like they took theorchestra to the bar willingly.
– Dean Gordon-Smith reviews the latest music for The Morning Star every Friday.