Crissi Cochrane brings some Sway home to Maritimes

Windsor, Ontario-based Crissi Cochrane is one of our dearly-missed Maritimers, having moved a couple of years ago to the sister city of Motown. She's picked up the soul and jazz of that city, and on her second full album, Little Sway, you can revel in smooth grooves and joyful pop vocals. She still has lots of the East Coast she grew up with as well, and she's back this coming week for a few all-too rare appearances.

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Her first album proper, Darling, Darling was more acoustic, with light guitar, lots of strings, and sweet instruments such as glockenspiel and flute. This time, drums are a key element, along with tight horns and tighter arrangements. Guitar lines double up horn runs, the bass weaves a new melody, the hooks come big and strong, and Cochrane glows on top of it all. There's still an acoustic element in it, guitar or even ukulele, keeping everything airy, but those punchy drums and cool-as-a-breeze horns take us back to three-minute pop glory. Motown is definitely in the air.

At the core though, is some delightful songwriting, with an appreciation of melodic love songs and sophisticated lyrics. In addition to her own nine originals, there's a moody version of George and Ira Gershwin's The Man I Love, which gives you a good idea some of her other source material. As for those local shows, you have a couple of opportunities. Cochrane is touring with the Ottawa group Pony Girl, and will be at Plan B in Moncton on Monday Sept. 8 and the Red Herring in St. Andrews on Wednesday Sept. 10. Also, if you are in the Fredericton area, she is playing a house concert in Hanwell on Sunday Sept. 7. If you are interested in that give stephenc@nb.sympatico.ca a shout.

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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).

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