Saturday, December 28, 2019

#424 : Northern Social - (self-titled)

2019 – independent

By Phillip Smith; Dec. 28, 2019

Northern Social, a mesmerizing duo from Ontario, is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Dylan Wickens and drummer/percussionist Mike Rajna.  Their debut release is this wonderful five-track EP, saturated in blues.  Wickens, a two-time winner of the Toronto Blues Society New Talent Search, and nominee for The Maple Blues AwardsBest New Artist in 2005, has been steadily touring these past twenty-two years, with either his own band, or with his Hendrix Tribute.  

The high-octane blues-rocker “Waiting” fearlessly rips this package open with fiery hot licks and a driving beat.  I’m instantly drawn to the hypnotic rhythm Wickens lays out in their cover of Keb Mo’s “Am I Wrong”.  It settles nicely in the pocket while his smooth and heavy vocals take charge.  “King of Hearts” is another one I can just get lost in.  There’s a bit of that North Mississippi moonshine poured on this one.  It’s fabulously dirty.  “Dead Neighbor Blues” is work of genius and beautifully brings this recording to a close.  Wickens definitely tapped into the blues when writing this one.

The five tracks on this EP surely packs a punch, and demands attention.  Northern Social is definitely worth taking a chance on. 


·         Streaming formats are not available.  Purchases can be made through the website,

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