Erin Costelo Brings A Soul Sound To New Album

Wow, what happened to Erin Costelo?  She took a big soul pill is what, and now we find out the Halifax singer-songwriter had a secret inner Marvelette or something.  Costelo has made a disc that combines rich soul sounds with classic 60's pop production.  There's a bit of several touchstones in the ten songs.  The production and arrangements mimic big classic radio hits, whether soul ballads (Give A Little) or girl group fun (Count To 10).  There are strings, big backing vocals, Bacharachian moments galore.  And to give it the most accurate sound, the tunes were recorded on tape, and mixed to mono! 

side-cover.jpg

The joy here is how much fun and love Costelo puts into the project.  Arranging, writing and producing it all (okay, there's one cover), she's somehow managed to come up with numbers you'd swear were by your heroes.  Everybody Wants To Be (In Love) could have had a Otis Redding credit on it, and I wouldn't have blinked.  And it's fascinating how much her voice, always distinct, fits this material with its lower strength.  She's moaning and grooving like a Bettye Lavette or Mavis Staples at times.  The background singers are a grand touch as well, giving everything more vintage appeal.  At other times she has a jazz touch to her voice, mostly just because she's such a fine melody singer, finding notes between the chords (I Don't Know Anything, the most Dusty song here).

It's like we're living in an alternate universe, when Costelo was the 60's soul star from Halifax who had a teen hit in 1962, got on Ed Sullivan, signed to Atlantic Records, worked with Jerry Wexler, recorded at Muscle Shoals Studio, and retired.  The songs are even presented in that order, with the oldest styles at the start, and the more funky numbers coming at the end.  If that was the plan, it's perfect, the whole project is a perfect concept, and I'd be thrilled to hear more.

You can catch Costello in concert Thursday, Nov. 15 at Plan B in Moncton, Saturday, the 17th at the Cedar Tree in Fredericton, and Sunday the 18th at the All Saints Anglican Church in St. Andrews.

 

more »

Latest East Coast Music Reviews

Tomato/Tomato top the awards nominations for Music NB
Tomato/Tomato top the awards nominations for Music NB
Sep 21, 1:15 PM

Saint John folk duo Tomato/Tomato lead the way in this year's nominations for Music New Brunswick awards. The husband-and-wife team has grabbed six nominations, including those for Album of the Year, Group Recording of the Year and Song of the... more »

 Hot Toddy reunion a Harvest highlight
Hot Toddy reunion a Harvest highlight
Sep 20, 6:05 PM

On stage at Fredericton's Playhouse on Saturday, the members of Hot Toddy had more to share than just music. Bass player Tom Easley had brought along a band tour journal that had been kept in the van from 2001-2003, full... more »

Samantha Martin brings exciting blues-gospel vocals to Harvest Fest
Samantha Martin brings exciting blues-gospel vocals to Harvest Fest
Sep 18, 3:58 PM

The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is well-known for introducing new, exciting acts to the East Coast that wouldn't normally tour in this area.  They might be from Los Angeles or New Orleans, or some of the best Canadian groups... more »

Steve Hill brings Juno-winning, one-man band to Harvest
Steve Hill brings Juno-winning, one-man band to Harvest
Sep 17, 3:58 PM

As the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival celebrates its 25th year, several favourite acts from the past have been invited back, including some that haven't been around for quite awhile. Even though he lives in Montreal, this year's Juno Award-winning... more »

EARTHBOUND TRIO launches new album at Harvest gig
EARTHBOUND TRIO launches new album at Harvest gig
Sep 16, 3:51 PM

How busy is Fredericton during Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival week? It's delaying some Federal government work, that's how busy. A friend of mine, a government employee from another city, e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago to say she... more »

Amy Helm continuing Dad Levon's legacy at Harvest fest
Amy Helm continuing Dad Levon's legacy at Harvest fest
Sep 15, 3:06 PM

It was a Harvest show that went down as a classic for the people crowding in the Blues tent in 2011. Levon Helm and his great big 13-piece band rolled into Fredericton for the jazz and blues festival, and stole... more »

View all reviews for September 2015 »

About Bob Mersereau

Rockin' BobBob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).

Share this review