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
Toronto-based, 2020 Maple Blues Awards nominees for Best New Artist, Bywater Call’s self-titled debut album was released in Canada, USA, Europe and Australia on November 22, 2019.
The album received rave reviews across all territories and placed #1 on the Roots Music Report Canada Top 50 for 11 straight weeks and continues to place today. It was featured as album of the month on the IBBA 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 and Earshot charts among others.
Born out of a love for southern soul, roots rock and blues, and a passion to create a powerful, moving experience for listeners, Bywater Call was formed by singer Meghan Parnell and guitar player Dave Barnes in 2017. The 7-piece outfit 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.
The band has been featured on the Canadian Festival Circuit, including Tremblant International, Toronto Jazz, and Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival, to name a few, and toured Europe in early 2020, playing 39 cities in 45 days to packed houses.
With elements of jam band, traditional blues, soul and rock and roll, with touches of New Orleans, Alabama and small town Ontario, with influences from The Band to Duane Allman to Aretha Franklin to Otis Redding to Elmore James, with solid musicianship based in jazz, and with gritty, raw and emotional vocals, Bywater Call seeks to strike to the core of all who listen.
“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, Nov 21, 2019
“The female-fronted, horn-topped Toronto combo’s debut full-length — and a disc that should instantly vault them to the top ranks of the Canadian blues scene while earning them an international audience...Authentic, earthy, gritty, punchy, soulful, rough ’n’ ready, raspy, powerful, confident, stylish.”
- Darryl Sterdan, Tinnitist, Nov 23, 2019
“A dandy throwback to those San Francisco hippie bands that were encyclopedias of bay area grease and southern soul, this bunch from Toronto probably couldn't tell you anything about Sweetwater even if it meant winning on Jeopardy. And it's just as well since that let's them approach the territory without any preconceived notions or expectations. Actually sounding fresh throughout, this bunch seems more in tune with setting the world on fire rather than their synapses. Good for them. Choogle on, young badasses!”
- Midwest Record, Nov 29, 2019
“If you’re a fan of the blues (and really, who isn’t in this day and age?), you have to give Bywater Call a chance. The vocal style on this [Walk on By] lead is absolutely stunning. Bywater Call feels like the cry of a deeply scarred heart... It’s a “stand your ground” anthem and empowers with a soaring Grace Potter-like vocal.”
- Ear to the Ground, Nov 8, 2019 re: Walk on By
“This debut album bears witness to exceptional quality, which enables this 7-piece formation to effortlessly conquer the rest of the world after Canada.”
- Rootsville.eu, Nov 13, 2019 (translated)