The Ria Reece Band ‘The Ria Reece Band’ – NEW MUSIC REVIEW

Posted 16 Nov 2013 in Albums of 2013, Albums of the 10s, Soul/R+B

The Ria Reece Band CD Cover


Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#890 in the Series) is the self-titled debut by The Ria Reece Band

With the amount of musical talent Montreal is churning out, it just might be that there’s a new Motown north of the border. The latest off the conveyor belt is a four-piece band hell-bent on instilling in us a reverence for the roots of rhythm and blues. The Ria Reece Band doesn’t do half-baked and there is a richness in their instruments and in Ria’s gravy-sweet vocals that will appease the staunchest of soul purists.

Their mastery of the intricacies of the raw, passionate melodies of the sixties and seventies belies the fact that The Ria Reece Band was born just about two years ago. The seeds of the band were planted in early 2011 when Toronto native Ria Reece decided to become a professional singer. By September that year she had got together with guitarist Andre Chevarie, drummer Martin Laporte as well as bassist Sylvain Lamothe and hit on a vision of a modern day version of Swing Out Sister. Only they would be reaching far past the 80s Brit band for inspiration, embracing the forlorn, emotive and racy MO of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke.

And their distinctive retro style has won The Ria Reece Band the attention of music lovers all over Montreal and the rest of Canada. They had revelers spellbound at the Quebec Summer Festival this year with their energy and astounding stage-presence while college/community radio stations can’t get enough of the band’s debut album. The self-titled project has charted impressively on various radio shows, garnering top-ten rankings consistently and has critics in Canada’s underground blues scene hailing them the best female-fronted group yet. And as you sway, bop or snap through the ten gems that make up The Ria Reece Band debut you won’t help but add to the voices lauding this soulful quartet.

You are immediately sucked into theRia_Reece_Band_2013 musical time warp with reedy guitars that will have you wondering how your stereo turned into a gramophone. “You Can’t Save Her” is a worthy intro, nudging baby boomers to rustle through their closets for those minis and bell-bottoms. Its mild tempo, maintained throughout the album, will have you swinging your imaginary afro or hippie locks from side to side the entire thirty-five minutes. You’ll hardly need to break your rhythm when the needle moves to “I Just Want To Make Love To You.” The next cut, “I’d Rather Go Blind” reeks of “Cigarettes and Coffee” and Ria yanks herself out of her comfort zone vocally to imbue the lilting guitars with the passion of Otis. Those who won’t have squeezed into their yesteryear disco outfits will do so as soon as “Something’s Got A Hold On Me” crackles out of their speakers. Just shy of three minutes, it is the very definition of short and sweet. Andre Chevarie outdoes himself on “The Road,” strumming every shred of soul out of his guitars under the guidance of stoic drums. There is a pleasant surprise for those with an ear for alt-rock before the album ends in “Whisper” while fans of The Animals should appreciate “House Of The Rising Sun.”

For a two-year old group, The Ria Reece Band is punching way above its weight, showcasing a sensitivity to detail and deftness of execution that will be the envy of more established acts. You don’t have to be a hippie to fall in love with such a flawless, heartfelt production. Released August 2013, it is available on iTunes.

  — Phil Kimonge, Nairobi, KenyaPlease-visit-and-LIKE-our-facebook-page

 Track Listing

  1. You Can’t Save Her
  2. I Just Want To Make Love To You 3:43RiaLancement_album_poster_11x17
  3. I’d Rather Go Blind 3:08
  4. All Of Us 3:48
  5. Something’s Got A Hold On Me 2:46
  6. At Last 2:38
  7. Tell Mama 2:51
  8. The Road 3:25
  9. Whisper 4:34
  10. The Rising Sun 5:11


  • Ria Reece – Vocals
  • Andre Chevarie – Guitar
  • Martin Laporte – Drums
  • Sylvain Lamothe – Bass

Related Links

 Listen to previews of the songs below! 

Here are additional Soul and R+B albums that we’ve featured

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Posted by Larry Carta

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