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Canadiana/Roots/Rock: Norine Braun - Through Train Windows (Braun and Brains Music / 7 December 2018)

Norine Braun - Through Train Windows
(Braun and Brains Music / 7 December 2018)

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Blues, roots, and soul with a modern sensibility - that's the territory mined by Vancouver based singer songwriter Norine Braun. Last year, she and partner Alice Fraser participated in Via Rail's Riding the Rails tour as an Artist On Board. She traveled more than 6,000 kilometres from Vancouver to Halifax, playing music as the Rocky Mountains changed to prairies, boreal forest, urban areas, until finally reaching the Atlantic. After the experience, she was the Musician in Residence at the Banff Centre, where she penned this collection of songs about her experiences.

Norine's voice is both accomplished and intimate, like someone sitting in your living room telling stories. She takes well worn genres and breathes new life into them with insightful and poetic lyrics and musical compositions that add layers of sound and interest to simple themes.

I'm Going Home is a bright country blues rocker with a joyful message.

Set my sights to save my soul,
I'm going home...

Heading Up North is a melodic roots ballad, with just sweet vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar to flesh out the emotion. Exhale is a stand out track that trips along at 6/8 time, driven by a kinetic rhythm guitar line and a walking bass, with her ethereal vocals above the mix.

Climbing Table Mountain adds a jazzy sax line and jazzy chord changes to a strident rock rhythm and jangly rhythm guitar. It's an intriguing track inspired by the scenery and what it means.

Rock The Rolling ventures farther into jazz territory with a syncopated rhythm and a spoken word section against sax, keyboards, and a driving drum pattern. Heaven Only Knows is another standout, trippy and atmospheric, one of the few keyboard driven songs on the release.

Norine's work has garnered recognition, including the Banff Centre Musician in Residence, Canada Council For the Arts Award, Los Angeles Music Awards, Artists For Literacy award, and more.

It's an interesting release with a lot of replay value from an artist in her prime.

Track List:
1. Sleeping Buffalo 3:57
2. I'm Going Home 3:10
3. Jerkwater Town 2:55
4. Exhale 4:46
5. Climbing Table Mountain 3:42
6. Heading Up North 3:58
7. I'm Moving On 3:40
8. Rock the Rolling 3:57
9. Oh Canada 2:42
10. Rue St. Jean 3:35
11. Crosses and Sweetgrass 5:05
12. Heaven Only Knows 3:49
13. Through Train Windows 3:48

Vocals/Acoustic Guitar/Rhythm Guitar: Norine Braun; Lead Guitar/Bass: Adam Popowitz; Drums/Percussion: Elliot Polsky; Blues Harp: Huggybear Leonard; Keys and Harmony Vocals on Rue St. Jean and I'm Going Home: Alice Fraser; Tenor Sax: Steve Hilliam

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