Brothers in This World
The title of the new Blackburn album, Brothers In This World, refers to the fact that this is a family-based band. Brothers Duane and Brooke are sons of Bobby Dean Blackburn, long a luminary on the Toronto r 'n b scene. They're joined by brother Cory on drums, while yet another brother, Robert, assisted with the songwriting and harmony vocals here, and all four do the family name proud. Winners of the 2010 Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist, they mix up blues, r 'n b and funk elements with real skill. A horn section beefs up some tracks and soulful B3 organ (played by Duane, who sings lead on most cuts) is a key component. The one cover here, B.B. King's classic "Why I Sing The Blues", is given a fresh treatment. It's been a long time since their last album, 2009's Brotherhood, but this justifies the wait. The album gets a U.S. release on April 21, and Blackburn have already made a fan out of Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke.
For the past nine years, Blackburn have played a weekly residency (every Thursday) at Joe Mama's in Toronto. Summer festival gigs are expected.