You have to like David Wall because he sang for the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir and now sings for the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, and these things are just so Toronto you want to sit on the CN Tower when you think of 'em. He has a great, trained voice. I find the tonality a bit bland, but that's just me. His second solo CD, is a collection of nicely-written gospel and bluesy folk tracks, with Richard Bell on piano. The songs are perfectly constructed but lack grit; they feature great backing vocals, and though brass, banjo, vibes and mandicello are all thrown in, the wash of instruments sounds far too clean and precise. We want joy or sadness, especially in the traditional spiritual Yonder Come Day, a shout song that's supposed to get right into your soul and make you rise the fuck up. Instead, it comes across as kind of a sit-down song. Yet though they don't quite grab by the guts, these are some well-crafted pieces.
Wall hits Hugh's Room tonight (Thursday, February 9).