Natasha Blackwood – Love Songs for Good Machines

Natasha Blackwood – Love Songs for Good Machines

April 28, 2024

Natasha Blackwood – Vocals, Tenor Saxophone, Piano
Ryan Kennedy – Piano, Backup Vocals
Nicole Hand – Baritone Sax, Alto Sax, Backup Vocals
Lauren Strong – Trumpet
Duane Andrews – Acoustic Guitar
Humberto Piccoli – Electric Guitar, Nylon String Guitar
Dave Bridger – Upright Bass
Jeff Foran – Drums, Percussion

Bill Brennan – Vibraphone (5, 8)
Catherine Tansley – Tuba (9)
Greg Bruce – Clarinet (9)
John Duff – Trombone (9)
Kellie Walsh – Vocal Solo (10)
Lady Cove Women’s Choir (10)
Amelia Curran – Backup Vocals (1, 4)

Newfoundland vocalist and saxophonist Natasha Blackwood’s Love Songs for Good Machines is a jazz album with pop sensibilities rooted in modern-day folk storytelling. These songs are love letters to the working class, addressing themes of labour, love and resilience. They are sharp and witty, tongue-in-cheek, and rich with subtle Newfoundlandia. They bring to mind the work of Joni Mitchell at mid-career: these are songs that bend notions of genres and take risks, with soaring melodies and thoughtful stories framed by arrangements that sound both complex and effortless at once.

“Good machine” is a term used in Newfoundland for something that lasts a long time. It might break down, but it never wears out: it ‘takes a lickin’ but keeps on tickin.’ With this new album, Blackwood looks at the working-class of her native province in this same light, exploring how a person is valued for their productivity, and only celebrated once they are worn out for good.

These songs tell stories about the frustration that comes from working hard without getting ahead; about the intense gratitude for love, family, and the ability to get by; and the need for validation for being a good worker. This album explores the idea of being enough – in the workplace, in the home, and in our relationships. Each song was written by Blackwood for a real person with resilience and grit – terms that are often used to describe the people of Newfoundland, but not exactly in this context. To hear these kinds of songs and stories within a jazz context is something uniquely refreshing, ear-bending, and somehow familiar at the same time.

Release Date: Friday, May 31st 2024