There is a lot of great music being made today but it’s not too often that we come across an artist who is worthy of titles such as Elvis Presley’s “The King of Rock and Roll” or Aretha Franklin’s “The Queen of Soul.” We may have lost these pillars of American music but the world now has a worthy successor to The Queen of Soul in Ms. Jade MacRae.
On the cover of her new album is an intimate picture of this multi-instrumentalist and vocal powerhouse sitting in a dimly lit room with an intense look of authentic vulnerability that immediately draws you in. This imagery lends itself nicely to the album’s title, Handle Me with Care. The album is beautifully produced by MacRae along with David Symes to create a collection of 11 songs that weave together the best of Blues, R&B, Jazz and 1,000 pounds of Soul!
With songs like the title track, “Handle Me with Care,” I Choose Love,” “All Over My Face” and “Let it Ride,” MacRae leads a stellar band that takes no prisoners while she belts out everything from upbeat swinging soul to the sweetest heartfelt and tender ballad. Jade’s highly accomplished musical parents join her on the album with her father, David MacRae, playing a majority of the incredible keyboards and her mother, Joy Yates, singing backing vocals. Jonathan Zwartz on bass and Hamish Stuart on drums lay down the band’s foundation as the rock-solid rhythm section with a groove you can’t escape. Carl Dewhurst’s guitar along with James Greening and Matt Keegan’s horns add a tasty flavor to the music that moves from Motown to New Orleans by way Chicago. Ian Bloxsom chimes in with his vibraphone to mix things up and create a wonderful sonic landscape. Well-crafted harmonies by an incredible cast of vocalists have the nostalgic feel of The Staples Singers with a dash of Muscle Shoals and a Memphis gospel choir.
MacRae leads the band while on piano and sings some of the most soulful lead vocals you’ve ever heard. Finally, rock and blues titan Joe Bonamassa makes a guest appearance on the song “Oh My Darling” in which he plays his humbucker equipped guitar through a cranked tweed amp, adding his signature tone, taste and timing to bring it all together with a recipe that can’t go wrong.
The songs on this album are performed with a wide breadth of style and emotion while remaining cohesive as a whole and have that indescribable musical element that makes them timeless. This album will age like a fine wine or a beautiful piece of jewelry with a patina that exemplifies experience and class. MacRae’s unrivaled vocal prowess pulls on your heart strings in the best way possible and with just one listen, you can feel it in your bones…this is the real deal. She makes it sound so effortless and natural that it’s easy to get lost on the fact that MacRae is not just raw talent. She is a highly accomplished musician that uses an incredible sense of harmony and adds creative chord changes to her arrangements to put a new twist on a classic style. This is an artist who is at the top of her game, bearing her soul and putting it all on the table. The only problem with this album is it leaves you wanting more! This is not a record you want to miss and you owe it to yourself to check out Jade MacRae’s new album Handle Me with Care. Listen now at JadeMacRaeMusic.com.
Backing Vocalists on the album include: Mahalia Barnes, Dannielle DeAndrea, Rebekah Jensen, Darren Percival, Gary Pinto, Prinnie Stevens, Juanita Tippins, Mark Williams and Joy Yates. Recorded by Simon Berckelman at Golden Retriever Studios Sydney, Ben Rodgers at Freight Train Studios Sydney and Ben Pelchat at Kensington Sound Toronto. Mixed by Justin Stanley at Stellar Studios LA and Mastered by Caspar Sutton Jones at Gearbox Recording in London. All the songs are original and MacRae’s co-writers include Clayton Doley, Paulie Cerra and Ben Rodgers.