Blue Moon over Dakota

Blue Moon over Dakota

In the dark warm basement of the Dakota Tavern, a handful of people are enjoying their Portuguese chicken from just down the street. I would know, I am one of them. These people were here  to hear the bluesy sounds of Blue Moon Marquee. They hit the stage and as if someone has just rang Pavlov’s bell, the place seemed to fill up nicely.

A.W.Cardinal looked like a suave swamp rat. I mean this as a compliment, because his raspy voice reminded me of a cross between Tom Waits and Holwin’ Wolf. Between his emotional guitar playing and his story telling, you were captivated and engaged in everything he was doing. His competition was his lovely partner in crime and grime, Jasmine Collette. She was doing triple duty on Upright Bass, Drums and Vocals. This siren was 3/5 of the band and deserves credit for her multitasking. She managed to do a couple of lead vocals on some songs and just added to the experience, because we got a new side of this formative band. Her voice was slightly smoky, sweet and sultry all at once.  Jass quietly joked that the drummer was let go, and she was the cheap labour that took over.

Their chemistry was singular, with the notable sense of being bluesy and jazzy at the same time. The harmony between these two seeped out into the mindful audience.  Their sound was laid back, swanky and lively all at the same time. If I could give this sound a voice, it would look like the Pink Panther blowing on a spliff.

There songs seemed to be attached to awkward social moments or resting on a bar stool counting the nights away.  One song was about a man dancing with the wrong woman, even though in his mind it was  on his partner…awkward. “Stumblin’Fool”, is a slow romantic testimony about the bar life and how much can you actually remember. I think Blue Rodeo would do a great cover of this song. They kept the barfly theme going with a rousing version of a song called, “Scotch Whiskey”. These two were rocking and reeling, and continued with another fall on your face favourite,”Pour me one”. This is truly the barfly anthem song with a double visioned audience singing, “Pour me one, pour me two”!

These two Vancouver Island natives kept the audience engaged with other themes as well. “Hoodoo Lady” kept that Pink Panther vibe going around the room. “A Gypsy’s Life, seems to be their biography of two musicians constantly on the road. They told us that they have just done ten jazz festivals across Canada. One stretch was from Saskatoon to Toronto in two days. This drive is not for the faint of heart, I should know. I did a 24 hour drive from Winnipeg to Toronto and I was completely exhausted.

Near the end of their set, they went into a deep cut, with a message of love that radiated from A.W.’s guitar. There were many emotions flying around and trying to touch everyone present. They finished off with a high flying happy song that reminded me of a fun CCR song. So I was getting ready to leave when the audience turned and would not let these two sparks reside. So we asked for an encore. We got a cover tune that everyone was happy to receive. It was Tom Waits,”St James Infirmary”.

Here are some pictures from Blue Moon Marquee’s performance:

To learn more about this great duo, go to

To see who is playing at the Dakota go to

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