The Maple Blues Band Issue A Winning, Wordless Mating Cry

The Maple Blues Band seal the deal with their seductive new instrumental Mating Cry — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The latest single from the veteran Toronto ensemble’s debut album Let’s Go, Mating Cry is exactly what its name suggests — a sexy, strutting tune that announces its grand entrance with bright horns and a fun, cocky confidence. Solo spotlights by Hammond B3 master Lance Anderson, guitarist Teddy Leonard and sax player Alison Young add just the right amount of sultriness to get the job done.

Mating Cry was composed by the late piano/organ genius Michael Fonfara. A founding member of The Maple Blues Band whose incredible resume included stints with Electric Flag, Lou Reed, Rough Trade and The Downchild Blues Band, Fonfara was with the band for 16 years. “We added Mating Cry to a show we did at the Calgary Blues Festival in August 2021 to make sure we wouldn’t run out of material,” recalls bassist and bandleader Gary Kendall. “When I was editing a performance video of that show I realized that our version of that song was strong and should be added to the recording plans. And especially because it’s a fitting tribute to Fonf, who passed away in January 2021.”

Photo by Jen Squires.

A highlight of the recording is Young’s aforementioned sax solo. “Alison is normally on baritone saxophone in our horn section, but I asked her to switch to tenor for the solo at our sessions,” Kendall recounts. “It was a good call for sure!”

Along with Kendall, Anderson, Leonard and Young, The Maple Blues Band includes Pat Carey (sax), Al Lerman (harmonica), Jim Casson (drums), Howard Moore (trumpet), Meirion Kelly (trombone) and Roshane Wright (percussion). The 12 tracks on Let’s Go are a group effort, with songwriting credits spread over 24 years, including past and present band members. Appealing to fans of jazz and blues, the album contains instrumental compositions the band compiled during their association with The Maple Blues Awards.

Check out Mating Cry above, listen to Let’s Go below, and call on The Maple Blues Band at their website.


Photo by Jen Squires.