Ear to Ground

I’ve been keeping my ears to the ground, anticipating a march of exciting music. It paid off, as recently I’ve become reacquainted with some old favourites of mine and discovered artists that left me very enthusiastic about what’s to come.

Tom Cochrane has been one of my favourite artists and a humanitarian hero of mine for years now and I’ve been looking forward to a new album since 1998’s X-Ray Sierra. No Stranger delivers some of his finest songs to date, with powerful performances and lyrics that give evidence of much reflection undertaken and wisdom gained in the time Tom hasn’t been gracing us with new albums. Already I’m sure this will be an album to take me through the coming winter.

Buck 65 has been releasing songs from his Dirty Work E.P. for download on his MySpace page for over a month now, and the songs are just as we’d expect from him. “Indestructable Sam” is a highlight, a folk song about a grave digger.

First up is a song called Indestructable Sam, which tells the 100% true story of a man named Samuel Dombey who dug graves down New Orleans way in the years following the civil war and the attempts made by his competitors and the nasty “magician” Dr. Beauregard to kill him. It’s an amazing tale, and the song features Old Man Luedecke’s banjo.

I’m looking forward to seeing how these end up being in the live shows, especially “Indestructable Sam”, alongside classics like “Roses and Bluejays” and “Craftsmanship”.

I was deeply impressed by The Sleepless Nights when I saw them live this month and haven’t been able to stop listening to their Hang Up E.P. The five songs on it are exquisite, with overflowing humour and beauty. This band may be my new favourite to emerge from Halifax and I’m looking forward to their future work so very much.

I’m not usually one for over-the-top music, but Meat Loaf has been an exception for years. Bat Out of Hell III is the pinnacle of his work for me, wonderfully arranged, emotively performed and executed in such a dramatic and moving fashion. The presence of Marion Raven is a pleasant surprise, as she’s in top form on the lead single.

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