Cantonese Traffic
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Cantonese Traffic

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"Proceed With Caution by Cantonese Traffic"

Listening to the debut disc from Rochester’s Cantonese Traffic, it’s not hard to deduce some of the young power trio’s prime influences. From the opening guitar chops, a rich aura of classic 1960s and ’70s blues-based rock suffuses the room. With Mike Allard on guitar and vocals, Zac Arnault on bass and vocals and Ian Martin on drums and backing vocals, the band comes out of the gates with a style that echoes Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies, The Allman Brothers Band, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and countless others.

Released this year on the band’s own indie label, Abdul Jabbar Records, the album has drawn early praise from respected local musicians like Pondering Judd’s Marty England and Equal Time’s Thom Keith. When Allard rips a prolonged, spine-tingling solo midway through the first track, “And I Stay,” it’s easy to see what all the hype is about.

The next tune, “Sudden Cry,” has a darker and less celebratory tone that communicates the band’s social conscience. “If Satan is the prince of darkness, then man must be the king, and as humanity crashes down, the cries of the children ring,” Arnault sings before a torrent of screaming guitar strings blots out the words.

But the first couple of tracks also illustrate some of the CD’s technical glitches. The overlap of the vocals on “And I Stay” seem disproportionately patched over the instruments, and (unless it’s just my copy) the volume sporadically fades out and returns on “Sudden Cry.”

Of course, these are just production issues, and the young musicians clearly have a promising future. Their instrumental force channels the power of historic trios like Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but all eight songs are originals by Allard and Arnault. The album closes with “Play It, Don’t Say It,” a mantra that calls to mind the preachy funk stylings of Sly Stone.
With a little fine-tuning, Cantonese Traffic is sure to gain steam in the Seacoast music scene. Visit www.cantonesetraffic.com.

-Matt Kanner - The Wire Magazine


Discography

'Proceed With Caution' (2008)

'The Chronicles of Canton' (2009)

Tracks from 'Proceed With Caution' and 'The Chronicles of Canton' have received airplay by a number of radio and television stations.

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Bio

Cantonese Traffic was formed in December of 2007. The purpose of the band was to create unique, passionate, and purposeful music. The three members have a diverse range of influences who include Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, John Coltrane, Bob Marley, Ten Years After, Albert King, Charlie Parker, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Curtis Mayfield, The Allman Brothers Band, The Derek Trucks Band, moe., Phish, and many many more. One of Cantonese Traffic's strongest aspects are their live performances. They have been performing at a myriad of venues since their inception and continue to play live regularly.