credit Anne J. Gibson

Sunday wilde Records New Album

By Ken Wright

With the independent release of her ninth album, internationally acclaimed blues singer and songwriter Sunday wilde has ample reason to be pumped. Titled Peace in Trouble, it has metaphorical meaning. “‘Peace’ is one of my new songs and ‘Trouble’ is one of my new songs,” wilde says. “We all need to find peace within our trouble in order to be okay.”

The current COVID-19 pandemic has put limits on direct interaction with fans and bandmates, as well as live performances and, of course, revenue—all of which wilde dearly misses. But regular recording and constant songwriting have always been an integral part of her artistic regimen.

Her sultry voice, ever-improving skills on her new upright piano—which makes its debut here—and Mike Carson’s stand-up bass underpin the album’s 10 original blues boogie-woogies and ballads, as well as a Willie Nelson cover. Sticking with her old-school minimalist preferences, guitar and drums are absent by choice. Instead, the judicious use of clarinet, trumpet, and trombone adds sonic shadings that complement the songs without cluttering their content. Local engineer and long-time collaborator Greg Schultz looked after the technical sound and mixing details of the album, which was recorded in two sessions in wilde’s living room.

The opportunity to work with Harpdog Brown, one of Canada’s finest blues harmonica virtuosos, was a “dream come true,” wilde says. The two became friends after crossing paths a few times. Brown served as advisor and co-producer on the project and his amazing harmonica “put some colour on it.”

“She’s a refreshing spirit. Sh’’s not trying to sound like Janice Joplin,” says Brown, appraising wilde’s uniqueness. “I like that.” 

As with her other albums, wilde remains devoted to her artistic mission of focusing on the song. “”I want women my age to hear these songs. I want young people that are going through hard times to hear the message in the songs,” she says. “If one of these songs makes someone feel better, to get through their day, that’s the whole point for me as a songwriter and singer. That’s why I do it; that’s the stuff that gives me satisfaction.” 

All in all, Sunday wilde is very pleased with the album and how it has come together as part of her ongoing musical journey. “I’ve always wanted it like this,” she says.

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