Mati Haskell
10, 2&6– 2010 (Americana)

What do you get when you mix Bonnie Raitt, Amy Winehouse, and Mavis Staples with a dash of Liza? Enter Canadian up and comer Mati Haskell and a debut record the likes of which you’ve never heard before.  The diversity of influences is astounding. Itunes auto categorizes it as Blues, but it encompasses gospel, soul, Motown and even cabaret. The musical lineup is loaded with heavy hitters including Glenn Worf (Mark Knopfler), Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughn), John Gardner (James Taylor), Jim Hoke (Mike Farris) and Juno award winner Carlos Del Junco.

The opener Show Me is a catchy tune that starts out with chicken pickin’ on a Telecaster before morphing into a sexy cabaret number complete with a horn section and the feature harmonies of the McCory Sisters. Likewise, Fade To Black begins with a mellow upright bass and electric piano before her sultry and soulful voice evokes a smoky barroom scene.

She laments…

“I bet you’ve already made a pass
I see a darkened room somewhere
You run your finger round the rim of her glass and run your fingers through her hair”

The highlight is singer /songwriter Jesse Winchester’s gospel based rocker Let’s Make A Baby King, It reached the top five and top ten most played songs on Americana podcasts alongside acts Joan Osborne, Bright Eyes, and Iron & Wine.

Whether the album is considered Blues or Americana, both are genres historically short on notable female artists in the modern era. That is about to change.