New Music Reviews: Camie Leard - ‘Come Out of the Blue’

From the funky opening baseline to the final plinks of soulful piano, Camie Leard's debut album Come Out of the Blue is a rousing blend of blues, gospel, soul, funk and R&B. Recorded with a who's-who of local musical talent (including NMC's very own Brandon Smith on organ and synth), the twelve tracks of all-original music showcase Leard's considerable song-writing chops, as well as her powerhouse voice. 

Come Out of the Blue is a surprisingly authoritative debut album, one that pays tribute to the decade plus that Camie Leard has spent singing the blues in and around Calgary. At times celebratory, at times pensive, at other times just plain sassy, the album beautifully demonstrates Leard's versatility of style and her passionate delivery.    
Chock full of horns and spirited backing vocals, these are songs of jubilation and heartbreak, poignancy and celebration. From the funk groove of the opening track “Foolmaker” to the soul-infused “Mama Said”, from the sweetly building piano-driven and horn-touched “Lay Down” through to the inspirational finale of “You and Me and Music”, these are original songs to satisfy your soul. With a cheeky wink, Leard even dips into disco territory on the horn-laden track “Traffic”, featuring a “beep-beep” breakdown of Donna Summersesque proportions. 
Through it all—gospel, funk, blues, soul, R&B or disco—Leard's generous voice is front and centre on Come Out of the Blue, which is exactly where it belongs.

Camie Leard's sold out CD release party at NMC. Credit: Kate Schutz.

Calgary streets are still buzzing with the feel-good aftermath of Camie Leard's sold out CD release party held at the National Music Centre last month. Luckily for the rest  of us, that sweet soulful music sounds just as fine on CD or vinyl. 
So give your spirits a boost by listening to the album at Bandcamp, CD Baby or Leard's website. Better yet, buy the album and listen to that fine home-grown sweet city music until you wear the grooves out.
Barbara Bruederlin

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