Twisters Long Hard Road

The Twisters’ version of the blues is one injected with a joy that is instantly audible, and the best high-test fuel currently available. Their billing as "Canada’s hottest jump swing blues band” is justified, having spot-welded the best of jump and West Coast blues to swing jazz, delivered with a feverish energy that borders on rockabilly. To their credit, there is not one track on this disc that sounds like the next — ten of 12 songs are originals contributed by each player’s distinct and highly individual influences. Long Hard Road is the band’s second release, for which their recent Juno nod for Best Blues Album focused deserved praise on a seasoned troupe who, over the past ten years, have become famous for filling many a dance floor up and down Canada’s West Coast. Homicidal blues fanatics, their influences include everyone from Paul Butterfield to T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Rogers to Rick Estrin. Vocal duties alternate but their material is key. Percy Mayfield’s "The Highway Is Like A Woman” is a stunner, starting off slow and steamy, setting the stage for lengthy leads from Dave "Hurricane” Hoerl’s harp and Brandon "Yukon Slim” Isaak’s hollow-body guitar as the barometric pressure builds. Willie Dixon’s "Two-Headed Woman” offers Hoerl’s vocals the perfect home. Smart originals include "Deep Dish” with its many hard-swinging, fun-with-food references and the straight-ahead instrumental "Zig Zag,” which makes multiple lane changes without the use of signals. This record starts off powerfully and keeps on coming, power-packed with unbridled enthusiasm and hard-swinging verve. Get some. (Full Swing)