Dawn Tyler Blues Project Ten Dollar Dress

There's something smouldering hot down Montreal way: Dawn Tyler Watson. This release is earning her instant recognition south of the border because she represents that all too rare commodity in female vocalists: burn. And burn she does throughout her first album, Ten Dollar Dress. Equal parts jazz singer and blues belter, her smooth, soulful and sultry ability to inhabit a song stretches across the entirety of the disc's 13 tracks, 11 of them Watson originals. Originally working the bluesier side of the tracks, ...Dress demonstrates her abilities across a variety of musical styles: "Cigarette" is a cool, funky single built around Danny Ranallo's distinctive dobro hook, while "You Can't Be True" is a slow blues sizzler, and "Rollin' Joe," "Latex" and "Take It Outside" adhere to a finger-snappin' swing jazz. However, the disc's greatest moments are found in the slow blues compositions, like "Shoot The Devil" and "Abused," where she slowly unleashes the fire in her hold. Her version of "Purple Haze" (featuring the jaw-dropping guitar firepower of fellow Montrealer Jimmy James) shows the most promise. She approaches the song with a lounge-hued interpretation, recalling Cassandra Wilson, before running headlong into James' sonic assault and disappearing into the eye of his storm. Play often but dress inflammably. (Independent)