Norma MacDonald is a Nova Scotian who now calls T.O. home, and her well-constructed, melodic pop songs won't offend you unless you find slick singer/songwriter-type country rock offensive. Her lilting voice has a naive quality reminiscent of early Jewel, and while a little Victoria Williams-style gruffness might give the tunes more impact, MacDonald still manages to get her point across - albeit in a way that makes me fear a collection of poetry may be imminent. Nice electric guitar accompaniment from Charles Austin keeps things rolling in a laid-back kinda way, but it's not until Two Dollar Bill that you get a sense of MacDonald's real potential. It's a truly fantastic song that could easily have been done by the great Kirby Grips, and hopefully a sign of what's to come.
MacDonald plays the NOW Lounge Monday (January 9).