Caroline Drury sings “Love Potion #9.”
That’s all anyone needs to know before deciding to buy her newest CD, Loving You, Loving Me.
“Love Potion #9” was popular two decades before the 24-year-old former Yukoner was born. It is a fun song … but it can be something entirely different once Drury’s crystal, clear voice rolls out, “He broke my little bottle of (wait for it) Love Potion #9.”
Yukoners know Drury from Peters Drury Trio, a jazz trio that later became a quartet, that showcased a voice that always found that extra note to add so much more texture to a song.
“Love Potion #9” was suggested to her by Rick Kilburn, the CD’s producer and bassist — “That’s why it’s so great to have mentors a few years wiser than you to point you to great songs” — to round out a selection that is taking her in a new direction.
Loving You, Loving Me is Drury’s first solo CD and she wanted to experiment. And she wanted it to be accessible. So it is more pop than her fans are accustomed to hearing from her.
“It’s not strictly pop and it’s not strictly jazz,” she says from her Vancouver home. “I like to say it’s acoustic, intimate pop with lots of jazz influence.
“When you say ‘pop’, people usually think of overproduced, over amplified, over processed music,” she says. “That is no where near the direction I want to go.”
Instead, she wanted to “make it kind of funky and keep it with the acoustic feel” and still keep a jazz flavour.
Joining her on this journey through other genres are Kilburn and Miles Black, who can be heard on the CD playing guitar and piano.
“I pinch myself every time I get on stage with these guys because, not only are they amazing musicians, but they are so willing to share their wealth of information and they love to teach and help you learn.”
The three wrote eight songs for the CD and Black has brought other songs to her, saying, “(This) would be just perfect for your voice”.
One song, Fragile, is a Sting tune that was chosen for its universal and beautiful lyrics. “Loverman” is a well-known jazz standard and is one of her favourites. And, Love Potion #9, was chosen just because, “It is such a great tune.”
Even though she is growing as an artist, she doubts her old teacher would be surprised. Grant Simpson and her keep in touch by phone and email to chat and for her to ask advice: “I think he surprises me more than I, him.”
Simpson says Drury is “definitely stretching her wings.
“I think Caroline’s new CD is great and represents a new direction for her,” he says.
“She has a very natural sense of time and I think she will just get better and better.”
But Drury knows that will take time. She compares her career to a preschooler entering kindergarten: “It’s a new beginning.”
Experimenting has eliminated the drums from behind her. She says it helps make songs sound more intimate. And she sees that as the new direction of music today where the voice is the key.
“Some screamers want to go to the top of their range,” she says. Then adding, “Less is more.”
The CD will be rolled out nationally April 15. But Yukoners can buy them now from Rose Music for $20.