BLUES TRAVELER SUZIE CRACKS the WHIPBlues Travelers loose bluesy sound can’t always give away their Canadian origins, but I believe they have managed to reflect the themes of a continent in their wide open tunes. The 2012 offering, Suzie Cracks the Whip moves away from the Californian rock of the previous releases like North Hollywood Shootout and gives us a much softer sound with some catchy pop hooks. However, some of new material was familiar and comparisons could be drawn to earlier work which was strongest on the track Big City Girls. Current line-up features: John Popper (vocals, harmonica), Chan Kinchla (guitars), Tad Kinchla (bass), Ben Wilson (keyboards) and Brendan Hill (drums, percussion).

Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith co-penned four tunes with various members of the band, namely the pop-blues rocker Recognize My Friend, and the organ fueled Devil in the Details, the optimistic jam Things Are Looking Up and the front porch folksy Love Is Everything (That I Describe).

Best of the batch for me was the frantic Cover Me and Devil in the Details with its funky, flirty tinge. All in all, the album could be described as fun set of songs with a number of nice touches like the extra female vocals on I Don’t Wanna Go (feat. Crystal Bowersox). While not their best stuff, it may well be the best effort for a while. L.C. Pryce

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