Mr. Rick & the Biscuits Whole Grain

Don’t let the rather silly band name of Mr. Rick and the Biscuits put you off. This Toronto, ON-based trio have a very authentic old-time sound, one captured neatly on their new CD (their third), Whole Grain. The band’s style effortlessly fuses country, swing, folk, bluegrass, blues and early jazz, and their understated vocal and instrumental approach creates a mellow, "rocking chair on the porch” vibe. Five original tunes include a couple of nationalistic odes ("Moonlight In Manitoba” and "Alberta Springs”), while they head south of the border for such well-chosen covers as "The Glory Of Love” and "A Fool Such As I” (both sweet treats), "Mean Ole Frisco” and "Stagger Lee.” A version of Creedence classic "Bad Moon Rising” also works really nicely. Guests on accordion, lap steel and violin (local ace Drew Jurecka shines on "Inner Jazzbo”) augment the fluent guitar, banjo, mandolin and stand-up bass pickings of the Biscuits. Goes well with a smooth bourbon. (Independent)