CANADIAN BLUES ARTIST BROKE FUSE MAKES WAVES WITH SPLASHDOWN, AN ALL-INSTRUMENTAL EP DROPPING JUNE 1
Momentum can be a powerful force. You might want to slow down, but sometimes it can be tough. And so it is that Canadian blues act Broke Fuse brings us the 5-song EP Splashdown. This collection of harmonica-driven instrumentals is the third new release from Broke Fuse in as many years.
Broke Fuse is a one-man band from Scarborough, Ontario, and Jay Moonah is the man in question. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has created and released two LPs: Why Should I Be Blue? (2020) and Rocket Ride (2021). Both albums were extremely well received, garnering stellar reviews, international airplay, chart-topping success on the Roots Music Report Canadian Top 50, and a series of award nominations, including ones from the Independent Blues Awards, Blues & Roots Radio’s International Song Contest, and most recently, a Maple Blues Award nomination in the New Artist category.
“Having done those two albums just a year apart, I really hadn’t intended to release anything else for a while,” says Moonah. “But while recording Rocket Ride, I started on a couple of additional instrumental ideas that I just kept working on. And as those came together, I felt compelled to get them out in some form. So I came up with a few more pieces, and next thing you know I had enough for an EP!”
The ideas that came out of the Rocket Ride sessions appear in the form of “Caught In An Eddy (For the Common Good part 2)” and “Solace (For the Common Good part 3)” These complete the trilogy begun with “Agitation” on the previous album. “Common Good Beer Company is a great brewery in my hometown of Scarborough,” explains Moonah. “Each of those pieces is inspired by a different beer. Folks who know me know I’m a big craft brew nerd, and I loved the idea of connecting different musical ideas to different beers.” While all three pieces share some common musical elements, each is done in a completely different style: where “Agitation” drew inspiration from progressive rock, “Caught In A Eddy” is a surf music tribute, and “Solace” recalls a mellow style of blues rock instrumental, with harmonica taking the role ordinarily assumed by pedal steel or bottleneck guitar. The Common Good brewery will also be the site for Splashdown’s release party on Saturday, June 11.
In addition, two completely new pieces grace the EP: “South Scarborough Hoedown”, laced influences of southern rock, traditional folk, and a bit of psychedelia; and “Big Noodle Boogie”, a 12-bar blues rave-up with a few turns and twists. Rounding out the set is “Rabbi From Texas Too”, which actually has its origins 20 years earlier with Moonah’s band at the time, roots-rockers Uncle Seth. “In 2002 we recorded an album called Lame Suburban Poetry. We had the idea that we should have little pieces featuring each member, so I quickly improvised this idea in the studio, using jaw harp and a couple of harmonica tracks. I always liked the concept but felt it was a bit undeveloped and not as well-performed as I would have liked, so I decided to revisit and expand on it.” Of the inclusion of jaw harp, which is seen by many as more of a musical toy, Moonah laughs, “yeah it’s a bit of a funny sound, but it actually has some deep roots in the blues: Sonny Terry the legendary harmonica player did a whole record called Sonny’s New Sound: Jawharp in Blues and Folk Music. So I feel on pretty firm ground with at least one of the greats of the blues in using it, haha!”
Praise for previous Broke Fuse releases:
“Welcome revelations from Canada with Jay Moonah, the remarkable harmonica master behind Broke Fuse. Jay's totally in control of the harmonica.” - Roy Bainton, Blues Matters Magazine
“There’s magic in the grooves; you can really feel it.” - John “The Rock Doctor" Kereiff, Gonzo Okanagan
“The hallmark of Moonah's music is his vibrant harmonica, his brilliant songwriting and the sonic diversity he can create with such apparent ease... I can’t wait to see what he does next.” - Terry Parsons, Maple Blues Newsletter
Splashdown will be released digitally on all platforms on June 10, 2022. A release party will be held at Common Good Beer Company in Scarborough on June 11, please visit brokefuse.com for more details.