Hi everyone. I hope you all had a great Holiday Season and got through it relatively unscathed. We are back at work in our studio and working on a lot of new music. We have a grand plan to release four albums worth of music this year (ok…I’ve been thinking about this…maybe 18 months is a more realistic goal…edited on Feb 10). Crazy…to be sure…but what’s the point if you can’t be a little crazy once in a while. We hope to have the first disc in hand for the March shows. In any case we’ll be relying on you all to be checking in on the website to try and keep up with us. We will be letting you know a lot more details in the coming weeks as we figure it out for ourselves. We also have a full slate of shows scheduled for the Spring so make sure to check out the tour page.
We also want to say goodbye to our friend and collaborator, Vic Chesnutt, who died on Christmas Day. He was a unique and vibrant talent. We will miss his dry, self deprecating humour. He’s going to play havoc with those heavenly choirs.
Here is a little treat from Jeff Bird to kick off 2010:
Here’s a little holiday gift that dropped in our lap the other day. This short film was created by our friend Ryan Furlong who shot a lot of footage on that infamous X-Canada Train trip a couple of years ago and who has finally had time to edit it together…its a very cool little document. Enjoy.
We have a lot of touring and recording plans for the upcoming year so please stay in touch through the site….all will be revealed in the next month or so, stay tuned. Have a great Holiday Season and stay safe.
Parkland is a track from the recent Lee Harvey Osmond cd (available for your enjoyment on this very website – listen for free, buy for cheap). It is also a song off of the much-rumoured-about-album The Kennedy Suite, which we have been working on (and off) for the past 18 months. The album is a suite of songs about the JFK assassination, written by our friend Scott Garbe. Each song in the suite is from the perspective of a historical or fictional character involved, in some manner, with the events of that tragic day. Its a brilliant collection of songs and the album will feature performances by several Canadian artists. We hope to have it out in 2010. In the meantime here is a video that someone made for the song Parkland, which is a song written from the perspective of an orderly working at Parkland hospital that day. Enjoy.
Sun through the window like a boogey man
Unfinished curtains on the nightstand
Alarm clock bounces off my head
Phone is ringing beside my bed
My son is dressed and waiting on the step
It’s the head nurse calling from Parkland.
I got a kid and his name’s John-John
Born the same day as the President’s son
Today is the day of the big parade
But they’re short at work and it’s double pay
That means a new scooter on your birthday
But the president will have to wait….
Take public transit 109
Bounce out at the Parkland sign
Bring him to work and show him around
Grab that bucket. Mop and gown
Towels and bedsheets, blankets and diapers
Wheel him around in the laundry hamper
John was the Prez, a mop was Jackie K.
We were a two-man motorcade
A girl stopped skipping to watch us shoot past
He blew her a kiss and then through the glass
Of the emergency doors we turned to see
Blood and roses, guns and grief
Bring him in and lay him down
John, bring the surgeons gloves and gowns
Through the black suits darting to and fro
I could see her shaking and alone
John-John put that bullet back
And offer Mrs. Kennedy your hand
Hold it tight ‘till her cryings done
And don’t look back, I won’t be long…
I brought fresh linen for the President
I watched the doctors pronounce him dead
Then a light voice said, “Is this your son?
He held my hand and my cryin’s done.”
Then John-John said, “You better get along,
You’ve got a birthday party to plan when you get home.”
She bent down and kissed my John-John’s face
Smoothed down her bloody dress into place
And with her son’s love as her staff
She lifted a nation on her back
She turned and nodded, we nodded back
As they carried her husband from Parkland…John-John put that bullet back
We have just released a new album by the young Hamilton band, Huron. At the moment you can only buy the abum via download (or at one of their shows). The CD will be available on-line soon and at retail in the spring. They are a pretty cool sounding entity, sort of a blend of Big Star, Black Sabbath, Wilco and a few other guitar driven bands: a very addictive sound. Please be our guest and give them a listen. If you like it, and if you’ve got a few bucks left on a your credit card, buy it. Also please use the “share” button on the music player to send the player to anyone that you think might enjoy the music. Rock on.
Our good friend Lee Harvey Osmond is beginning to make noise and get noticed down in the good-ole USA. Here is a recent review from Blurt. If you haven’t yet checked out the album…why not….??
LeE HARVeY OsMOND
A Quiet Evil
Let’s see here… released on the Cowboy Junkies’ own label; produced and recorded by the CJ’s Michael Timmins; features both Michael and sister Margo, with the other members of the Junkies making guest appearances; includes a cover of an obscure CJ tune, “Angels In the Wilderness”; even mastered by the Junkies’ longtime cohort Peter J. Moore; must be a Cowboy Junkies side project, right?
Not exactly. LeE HARVeY OsMOND is the brainchild of Tom Wilson, from Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, who conceived of the project as a kind of Canadian musical collective – hence the involvement of the Timminses et al, not to mention fellow Rodeo King Colin Linden, members of the Skydiggers and a handful of others. Wilson wrote or co-wrote most of the material and sings and plays guitar, so it’s clearly his baby, although as the notes above suggest, Cowboy Junkies fans and band trainspotters will find much about A Quiet Evil to cheer. In fact, several tunes have a familiar opiated twang and nocturnal ambiance: the spookywoozycool “Blade of Grass,” with its hushed vocal and backwards guitar swirl; the quietly intense, fuzztone-flecked blooze of “Summer Girl”; and of course pedal steel/B3-powered weeper “You Drove Me Crazy (Now I’m Gonna Stay That Way)” – how’s that for a great song title – which features Wilson and Margo Timmins in classic country duet mode.
All that aside, A Quiet Evil ultimately lives up to its titular suggestion; there’s an understated quality here barely masking a lurking sense of desperation and malevolence. From the simmering “Lucifer’s Blues” (check Wilson’s part-spoken, part-sung vocal, which with his deep voice suggests a cross between Chuck Prophet and Dave Alvin) to a searing, edge-of-psychosis cover of Lou Reed’s “I Can’t Stand It,” the record’s steeped in a kind of gothic noir ambiance. This is only made all the more unsettling by the demented cover art, a Satanic-looking dog/rabbit mutant with sharp fangs and jutting phallus. And what’s up with the upper/lower case lettering scheme of the band name? Is there some kind of subliminal messaging going on?
Wilson may or may not have spent time in that part of Canada where the weird sunlight schedule has been known to drive folks a little bit crazy, but on the evidence of this album, he’s definitely a lotta bit twisted, so beware. Twisted in a good way, of course…
Standout Tracks: “Queen Bee,” “Blade of Grass,” “Angel In the Wilderness,” “I Can’t Stand It” FRED MILLS
We have just re-released Whites Off Earth Now!! on 180 gm vinyl. It’s also in a gatefold sleeve with some very detailed liner notes by our friend Dave Bowler. This was re-mastered by Peter Moore. Peter went back to the original master tapes and went through them with his typical attention to detail. It sounds freakin’ awesome. If you want to check the bottom end of you sound system, then put this platter on and get ready to RUMMMBLLE!!
We have added a new song to the “neath your covers” section in Exclusives (or you can just check out the song on the player below). It is a cover of the Tim Buckley song “Once I Was” and it is being released today on a CD called, “The Village: A Celebration of the Music of Greenwich Village”. The album title pretty much explains the concept for the album. It also includes covers by Lucinda Williams, Rickie Lee Jones, Shelby Lynne, Marshall Crenshaw and many others. You can find out more details about the album by going to the label 429 Records website. In the meantime take a listen to our version and if you like it…buy it.
Barbara Lynch will be performing a rare show this week at The Dakota Tavern at 249 Ossington St in downtown Toronto. The show is this Thursday, October 29 and it starts at 9pm. Our brother John will be performing with her and it should be a great night of music. If you haven’t had a chance to check out her album, please do so…I think you’ll like it… then make a date to come on down. I hope to see you there.