Burn the Tapes
A regional favourite, country-folk singer/songwriter Norma MacDonald deserves to have a higher national profile, based on the quality of her new (fourth) album Burn the Tapes. Her passionate and emotionally evocative voice has elicited comparisons to the likes of Emmylou, Lucinda, and (to these ears, most fittingly) Natalie Merchant. She's also a strong lyricist ("To Nebraska" is a Springsteen-homage), and the painstaking recording approach to the album has paid off. Gabriel Minnikin (The Guthries) duets effectively on "Lighten Up", while guest players include the notable likes of Dale Murray (Cuff The Duke), Charles Austin, Erin Costelo, and Phil Sedore (Catherine MacLellan), who engineered, mixed and mastered with clarity.
MacDonald launches the record with a show at Halifax's Bus Stop Theatre on June 12. Let's hope for national touring to follow.