Canadian vocal treasure, born and raised in Toronto, Laura Hubert has remained a steady force on the city’s music scene over the past 25 years. Although she retired from rock and roll back per se when JUNO-winning indie-rock group Leslie Spit Treeo split up late last millennium, for several decades now she has been singing her soulful interpretations of vintage blues, jazz and Western swing all over the Greater Toronto Area. “I want to participate in the joy of the world, try to keep it light,” says Hubert. “Just trying to have some fun. Sing some songs. Make some music. Give some joy.”
Over the years she recorded 3 solo albums with her band, led by pianist Peter Hill and featuring some of Toronto’s finest including Chris Whiteley, Brandi Disterheft, Victor Bateman, William Sperandei: “Girlish Days” (2000), “Live at the Rex” (2001) and “Half Bridled” (2004).
In the years since these recordings, Hubert and her fans enjoyed residencies at venerable venues such as Grossman’s Tavern, The Cameron House and The Rex Hotel. Singing many of the same old classic songs over the years, like the finest of wine Hubert’s art has aged in the best way, her bluesy growl deeper and more powerful than ever.
“One Night in Kensington” is an initiative spearheaded by Order of Canada member, singer-songwriter and long-time friend of Hubert, is the new recording fans have long been waiting for. “Hubert’s unique and soulful vocal delivery can make any old song sound brand new,” says Molly Johnson.
Produced by Johnson and her Kensington Market Jazz Festival team, the new album live at Poetry Jazz Café find Hubert in the happy company of four very fine players: Eric St-Laurent on guitar, Davide DiRenzo on drums, Steve Wallace on bass and long-time musical partner Peter Hill on piano.
Also in the room that night were some of Laura Hubert’s biggest fans, including several who made this recording possible. Here’s hoping this album will help introduce Laura Hubert to many new fans.