Jessica Rhaye & The Ramshackle Parade warm you up with their beaming new single and video Sunshine Baby – showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The title track from their forthcoming album, Sunshine Baby is full of comforting warmth, as Rhaye’s voice shimmies, soars, and meanders beautifully around the accompanying guitars, upright bass, drums, and piano. The song takes us through a lover’s pain — “I can feel a storm is coming / I can hear the rain falling down / I can see your eyes are crying / wishing that your day would turn around” — as the narrator searches her heart for a way to help turn it around.
You would never know it, but the piano Rhaye contributes was something that took her out of her own comfort zone. All her previous songwriting had been done on an acoustic guitar, but she had recently bought Jeff Tweedy‘s book How To Write One Song, so she was in an experimental headspace.
“Coincidently, at the same time I thought about writing this song, my husband and I purchased a piano /keyboard for our children so they could continue their piano lessons virtually during the height of the pandemic lockdown,” Rhaye recalls. “I would sit with them as their piano teacher so patiently took them through their lessons, and I picked up a thing or two about piano chords. So, I thought, ‘Well, I’ll give it a try.’ ”
Despite the fact this was the first time Rhaye had ever played piano on a recording, it worked out beautifully. “Once we got settled in the studio, this song came together effortlessly. The drums brought a real folk / jazz vibe while the boys and I fell in comfortably like we had been playing it for years,” she said. “It was our goal to have me play along with the band on the piano as a scratch recording, but in the end, we kept the original piano track, as trying to re-record the piano after the fact didn’t have the original spark and feel.”
Sunshine Baby, scheduled for release in early 2023, will be Rhaye’s second album with The Ramshackle Parade. Their critically acclaimed 2019 album Just Like A Woman: Songs Of Bob Dylan is an engaging body of rollicking folk-rock interpretations of some of Dylan’s classics. It has garnered millions of streams and led to the band headlining premiere venues throughout Canada before the pandemic put a hold on touring.
Rhaye is an East Coast Canadian fixture; her dynamic 22-year career has garnered critical acclaim, awards from Music New Brunswick, and nominations from Canadian Folk Music Award and East Coast Music Award. The Ramshackle Parade includes Bill Preeper on electric and acoustic guitars, Sandy MacKay on bass, Chris Braydon on electric baritone guitar and Clinton Charlton on drums and percussion.