Monday, May 27, 2024

Bywater Call Rolling With It

Canadian roots, rock, and soul band Bywater Call release their second single of 2024, with ‘Roll’, that’s been described as “an uplifting and quirky retro-soul number”, with their third studio album, Shepherd, due on 9th August, and a second UK tour taking place this October.

‘Roll’ was recorded and mixed by drummer Bruce McCarthy at his studio The BeatFarm in Toronto. “This song, through the stories of three ordinary people, speaks to the curve balls thrown at us all in the game of life,” said singer, Megan Parnell. “The lesson: you have to hold your head up and just keep moving forward.”

Featuring a signature bass line played by Mike Meusel and conceived by keyboard player John Kervin, who throws in his own tasteful organ lick, the original inspiration for ‘Roll’ was an old James Carr R & B tune, ‘The Dark End of the Street’. The song, however, quickly took on a life of its own.  

Throw in the classic soul of Otis Redding, the American rootsiness of The Wood Brothers, a little humour and quirk, mainly supplied by McCarthy’s percussion, some twangy resonator and fiery slide guitar from Dave Barnes, sultry vocals from Parnell, and then top it all off with the unforgettable horn section of Julian Nalli (sax) and Stephen Dyte (trumpet) and a gospel-inspired build that will have us all celebrating our resilience; out comes ‘Roll’.

It follows the early March release of Holler that saw extensive A-list radio play on UK’s Planet Rock Radio, and the 2023 releases of singles Sweet Maria and For All We Know, that received rave reviews from UK, Europe, and North America. All three tunes will be included on the new album.

Shepherd is Bywater Call’s first fully self-produced and self-recorded album, and will feature ten original songs, showcasing the bands continual exploration, experimentation, and reach beyond the boundaries of their genre, further developing their own unique voice. The new music shows their growth, while still paying tribute to their historical and contemporary influences.

Said to be packed with ripping rock tunes, quirky off-beat numbers, and beautiful ballads, the upcoming album Shepherd is “exuberant, rootsy, funky, joyful, and heartbreaking all at once”. At its core, this album is intended to celebrate, and reflect the human experience with all its highs and lows: love, passion, regret, patience, resilience, reconciliation, anger, hardship.

Often transcending genres, Bywater Call is known for their dynamic, emotional live shows, featuring powerful vocals and exciting interplay between all band members. They have toured extensively in Europe where shows have been praised by Dutch, German and UK media, with references to Meghan as one of the best female voices in blues and roots today.  They are currently nominated for International Blues Artist of the year for the UK Blues Awards.

The band has been busy. In 2023 alone, they played a total of 96 shows in ten countries, 89 cities, 19 US states and 3 Canadian provinces, including Joe Bonamassa’s third Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea Mediterranean Cruise.  

You can stream new single ‘Roll’ here and check out the video here at RAMzine.

New album Shepherd will be available to pre-order on 15th May from Bywater Call’s website, and tour information can be found here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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