Friday, July 25, 2008

Review -- TWILIGHT HOTEL -- Highway Prayer

Twilight Hotel
The first hint that Twilight Hotel might be something sweet in terms of music was noting their CD Highway Prayer was produced by Colin Linden. Linden is a well-respected bluesman in his own right, and has a growing list of successful CDs as a producer for others, and so it was easy to expect this one would be solid.
Then there was the fact this CD is the follow-up to Twilight Hotel's critically acclaimed 2006 release Bethune which was nominated Best Americana Album at the 2007 American Independent Music Awards, which also suggested this would be a good one.
Well folks, it's more than just solid.
Wow! Twilight Hotel is something special.
The strength of this material comes from the way the voices of this Winnipeg-based duet blend together. Brandy Zdan and Dave Quanbury seem as though they were destined to be a perfectly matched musical pair. At times Zdan takes the lead, and at times such as Slumber Queen, Quanbury takes the lead mic. It matters not, because the other voice is always there as support, rounding out the effort. As a result the songs have a sweet fullness.
This is music that really isn't easily categorized. There are folk elements, Americana if you will, and pop elements too, and kind of weird and wonderful twists too, such as Iowalta Morningside, where Zdan really let's go. But through all the twists the listener can just relax because they are carried forward by the smooth vocals.
The CD starts hot with Viva La Vinyl, arguably the best cut here, although really any song could be chosen 'best'. The 12 original cuts are lyrically strong with stories to tell, and Twilight Hotel tells those stories in a way the listener will want to return to often.
Check this one out at, you will be glad you did.

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 23, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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