Inspired by hip-hop and r&b, Afie Jurvanen, better known as Juno-winning folk star Bahamas, gets funky on his fourth album. Backed by D’Angelo’s bassist Pino Palladino and drummer James Gadson, he injects real groove into infectious numbers like “Way With Words” and “Bad Boys Need Love To,” with angelic accompaniment from gifted backing singer Felicity Williams.
His stage name suggests the sunny Caribbean. But Bahamas, who served as Feist’s guitarist-pianist under his real name of Afie Jurvanen, is a dyed-in-the-woolen-toque folkie who has more in common with the confessional northern ballads of Ron Sexsmith than any hip-shaking calypso or steel-drum music. The songs on Pink Strat, named for the childhood guitar he still plays, showcase Afie’s gift for broken-hearted laments like “Lonely Loves” and “Till the Morning,” some of which feature Feist on backup vocals. July 2009