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It’s late, and the bar is crowded. The music is loud, and people are dancing. The bartender needs a smoke, and you could use a smile, a conversation, a moment of recognition… But you are ‘alone in this crowd’, along with the singer Russell deCarle.
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 him as the lead vocalist and bassist of the iconic Canadian country roots band Prairie Oyster. 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.
Along with Russell at the Blue Frog will be Steve Briggs on guitar and Jeremy Holmes on acoustic bass. Steve, originally from Powell River BC, has been a part of each of Russell’s solo recordings, and co-produced Alone In This Crowd. Jeremy, from Vancouver, is well-known for his session work and first met Russell on The Black Hen Traveling Roadshow Revue in 2016. He has joined him at several summer festivals over the past two years.
An additional highlight of the evening will be the presence of Cindy Church. Originally from Bible Hill, Nova Scotia, Cindy spent her formative musical years in western Canada, making her first recordings with the Great Western Orchestra, touring and recording with Ian Tyson and embarking on a solo career. She tours regularly with both Quartette and the collaborative venture, “Lunch at Allen’s. A superb singer with a distinctive voice and a technique she uses only to illuminate the lyric, Cindy invests the songs she performs with warmth, charm and feeling. Her voice is featured prominently on Russell’s latest record and her presence will contribute to what should be a magical night.