Because of Billie
Back in the '80s when Order of Canada recipient/Juno-winner Molly Johnson was singing for her supper (and rent) at Toronto's hub of bohemia, The Cameron House, a key inspiration was blues/jazz legend Billie Holiday. The only surprising thing about her coming out with an homage to Holiday album is that it has taken so long. As a fan since those early days, this scribe certainly welcomes its appearance and we know others will. The Pledge-funded Because Of Billie is the soulful chanteuse's sixth studio album, and the title references her debt to Holiday. Such Billie classics as "God Bless The Child," the riveting "Strange Fruit" and "Lady Sings The Blues" are reprised masterfully here (kudos to producers John Bailey and Mike Downes). The record will be available digitally, on CD and as 2LP gatefold, 180 gram vinyl. Paying homage to Holiday’s childhood struggles, Johnson will donate a portion of album sales to the Boys and Girls Clubs Of Canada.
She has September dates in Tokyo and France, followed by a Sept. 29 concert at Toronto's Royal Alex.