5/5 “Canadian band Bywater Call are armed and dangerous… The whole band lock in tight, but with the sparkling gems of Meghan’s vocals and Dave’s guitar contributions on show, this album is so damned self assured and pretty special.”
– Simon Redley, Music Republic Magazine UK, March 12, 2020
“Bywater Call will be among the best new bands of the decade”
– Nathalie Leblond, Blues Quebec, Jan 28, 2020
Meghan Parnell and Dave Barnes are the driving force behind Bywater Call, a powerhouse 7-piece Southern Soul, Roots Rock band out of Toronto, Canada
Since Bywater Call was formed in 2017, they have been Maple Blues and Independent Blues Award nominated and have made waves in the Canadian Festival Circuit. The band has also had the opportunity to tour Europe twice, including most recently in May and June of 2022, featuring a mainstage appearance at the Netherlands’ premiere blues festival MOULIN BLUES. Performances there have been praised in Dutch and German media, with references to Meghan as one of the best singers in blues and roots today.
In January 2023, the full band will make an appearance at the famed International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee to represent the Grand River Blues Society. They will also be returning to Europe in August and September of this year and Fall 2023.
In November 2021, Meghan was a featured performer at the Women’s Blues Review at Toronto’s historic Roy Thompson Hall.
Bywater’s much anticipated sophomore album was released September 2, 2022.
For those who have been following the band, an evolution in sound and concept can be heard with this new chapter. And yet, the core values of raw emotion, strong musicianship and the aim to create an exciting, powerful, and moving experience for listeners remains ever present.
Bywater Call saw the release of their debut album in November, 2019 in Canada, USA, Europe and Australia.
The album received rave reviews across all territories and placed #1 on the Roots Music Report Canada Top 50 for 11 straight weeks. It was featured as album of the month on the International Blues Broadcasters Awards chart, gained repeated top 5 placement on the International/US Rock Blues, and top 20 placement on the International/US Blues RMR charts. They have been featured on Sting Ray, Earshot and the top 30 USA Blues on NACC charts, just to name a few.
Born out of a love for southern soul, blues and roots music and a passion to create a powerful and moving experience for listeners, Bywater Call is completed by Bruce McCarthy on drums, Mike Meusel on Bass, Alan Zemaitis on Keys, Stephen Dyte on Trumpet and Julian Nalli on Tenor Sax.
What’s being said about Bywater Call
“Canadian band Bywater Call are armed and dangerous… The whole band lock in tight, but with the sparkling gems of Meghan’s vocals and Dave’s guitar contributions on show, this album is so damned self assured and pretty special.” – Simon Redley, Music Republic Magazine UK
“Sometimes the right musicians just find each other, and that’s what sounds like happened here. Much has been made about singer Meghan Parnell’s vocals, but I don’t think there’s been nearly enough made of them yet; tuneful yet raw and about as honest as anything I’ve heard in a while… this is a tightly connected group of superior musicians who I think have just started to discover what they’re capable of, as individuals and most importantly: as a group. There’s some rare alchemy going on here, so there is no telling what Bywater Call might create next.” – Tom O’Connor, RockandBluesMuse.com
“‘Bywater Call’ is an exuberant musical hybrid of rock, blues, New Orleans funk, r&b and southern soul. And while the focus is inevitably on the arresting vocals of Meghan Parnell, she is part of a road tested band with a vibrant horn section that is sparked by the significant dynamic guitar parts of Dave Barnes… ‘Bywater Call’ revitalises the soul genre with a spirited performance on innovative material, all framed by a coherent production that finds the perfect balance between passion, spark and musical excellence.” – Pete Fenestra, Get Ready to Rock, UK
“Canadian Bywater Call are a solid, top down, cruising towards a distant horizon Blues Soul Band. Meghan Parnell’s voice is infused with the velvet growl of Joan Osborne, Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker. Behind her Bywater Call the band are a tight funky monster locked to the beat … the music is muscular and full with a smile on its face and a spring in its step.” – Marc Higgins, FATEA, UK
“There may be quite a number of bands these days trying to mine this particular rock-blues-soul furrow, but Bywater Call are one of the best. … Bywater Call are a band whose mission in life it seems to be to subvert your expectations and make you listen. Come on in – the (By)water’s lovely!” – Steve Pilkington, Velvet Thunder
“Authentic, earthy, gritty, punchy, soulful, rough ’n’ ready, raspy, powerful, confident, stylish.” – Tinnitist
“Guitarist Dave Barnes .. really put himself in the spotlight here on slide. Many made the comparison with Derek Trucks. Coincidence or not, Meghan’s voice is somewhat in the same register as Susan Tedeschi’s, although Meghan has even more subtlety and voice control. In our humble opinion, she is the best contemporary female singer in the blues and roots scene.” – Back to the Roots
“The powerhouse voice of Meghan Parnell and the slide guitar master guitarist Dave Barnes form the basis of Bywater Call. Where things are still somewhat civilized on the record, Meghan goes completely wild live vocally. What a set of lungs and concrete vocal cords this woman must have.” – Blues Magazine
“The Canadian Bywater Call is hot, so hot that after their debut in 2017 they are already on the big stage of Moulin Blues… Little Meghan Parnell is already dubbed by a few colleagues as the best singer in the blues… Bywater Call mix funk with soul, southern rock with blues and have a lot of fun doing it too.” – The Blues Alone, NL
“Soulful and raw powerful vocals here are supported by top musicians, and what about those guitar riffs from Dave Barnes that immediately grab every blues aficionado here by the scruff of the neck.” – Rootsville
“First of all, the interaction of the charismatic, petite singer Meghan Parnell and the guitarist Dave Barnes, which is perfectly complemented by the rest of the band, is formative… Parnell convinced with a vocal volume that is unparalleled and was usually the focus of the action. However, she often went to the edge of the stage to leave it to the others. Barnes shone with some fine impressive solos sliding or fingerpicking and at times letting his guitar really sing.” – Sounds of South