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Albums Of The Week: The Blue And Gold | The Blue And Gold

Trish Klein & Ndidi O get the blues — and celebrate female legends — on their duo LP.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Blue And Gold are a musical collaboration between Juno-nominated WCMA Blues Artist Of The Year Ndidi O and folk-roots guitarist/banjo player Trish Klein (Be Good Tanyas, Frazey Ford, Po’ Girl) which celebrates the musical artistry and legacy of pioneering female blues musicians.

Ndidi O and Trish Klein were both established Canadian roots music artists when they met in Paris, while both going through turbulent times of their lives. In Parisian street cafes, alleyway bars and traditional hammams, their friendship was fused, and the idea of a collaboration first began. Then, during the pandemic winter of 2020, now back in Vancouver, they began a remote recording/research project exploring the lives and music of under-recognized female blues artists. This inspiring musical journey led to the creation of their debut album The Blue And Gold.

The album is a musical homage to the profound influence of Black female artists on 20th century country/blues traditions and indeed on the evolution of all modern music. It features 11 songs recorded with authenticity, soulfulness and grit, including reinterpretations of the works of pioneering female artists Memphis Minnie, Lottie Kimbrough, Victoria Spivey, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and others, as well as one song by the legendary Indigenous songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

The Blue And Gold was recorded at Vancouver’s premiere analogue studio Monarch Studios with engineer Olivia Quan, bassist Darren Parris and drummer Flavio Cirrulo. It was mixed in Nashville at Resistor Studios by engineer/musician/producer Joshua Grange (kd lang, Lucinda Williams, Sheryl Crow).

Ndidi Onukwulu, known as Ndidi O,  has released five albums under her solo moniker and multiple singles as part of her trip hop duo Boga. She has toured nationally and internationally, playing festivals and concert halls. Her songs have been featured in many television programs and commercial campaigns. Hailing from the wilds of British Columbia, she found her voice in the “open mic” scene in New York, discovered her sound in the heart of Toronto’s blues and folk scene, fine-tuned her live show across Europe and has settled for the moment back on the West Coast.

Klein is a multi-instrumentalist, guitarist, banjo player primarily known for her work with the internationally acclaimed folk-revivalist group The Be Good Tanyas, a project which she co-founded in 1999 and which toured internationally, playing major music festivals and concert halls worldwide for 14 years. Her music career has been heavily influenced by the exploration and discovery of early 20th century musical traditions, in particular, country-blues, gospel, Appalachian banjo and early jazz. As a musician, songwriter, and producer she has worked in close collaboration with some of the finest voices in folk-roots / Americana music today including Polaris Prize-nominated artist Frazey Ford, singer Allison Russell (Birds Of Chicago), Anna Egge, Jolie Holland and Ora Cogan.”