Mon, May 25, 2015.
She may be the pride of Winnipeg, but Romi Mayes has a ton of fans and friends in this province, thanks to her captivating club shows the past few tours. She's back this week in three different N.B. locations, with the release shows for her sixth album, Devil On Both Shoulders. Guitar rock with a roadhouse blues edge, and the killer love ballad every view songs, Mayes has tough but tender down pat. As always, her lyrics are a cut above as well, making sure there's always a new twist.
If anything, the blues/rock side is beefed up from previous outings. Mayes has always grabbed attention for the song writing side, but she's enjoying a new bigger band for this tour, and the songs lean a little more to that. Soul Stealer sees her belting out over some stinging dobro. Still you have a couple of those quiet but still powerful numbers. Make Your Move is straight seduction, relaying the instructions to a shy guy: "If you're feeling in the mood, I got something we can do." The solo piano number Walk Away closes the album, with another statement of independence and strength: "I see you walk away, that's alright, I was leaving anyway." Mayes doesn't have to work at being a force, she just is.
Romi Mayes plays Tuesday night in St. Andrews, at the Right Whale Pub in the Algonquin Hotel. Wednesday she is at Plan B in Moncton, and Friday it's The Capital in Fredericton.
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Bob 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).