Remembering Gordon Downie

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Remembering Brian Carman

Remember that great instrumental “Pipeline”, the one with the great opening riff that basically created a whole new form of guitar playing?  Brian Carman of “The Chantays” played that way back in 1962.  Brian passed away on March 1st, but will always be remembered for this path-finding sound.One of the true pioneers.

Canada’s Best Music – 5 Songs At A Time – Part 33

Blue Rodeo

Cover of Blue Rodeo

Part 33 includes a bit (a lot) of country rock courtesy of one of Canada’s best kept secrets, Blue Rodeo, and perennial favourites Prairie Oyster.  We also have some newer rock with Billy Talent and some classic rock with April Wine.  Let’s dive right in with number 339 on the countdown, Billy Talent.

339. Fallen Leaves – Billy Talent

Canada’s kings of rock hold down 339 on the list with Fallen Leaves.  The song was recorded in 2006 and was the third single released from their 2nd album, Billy Talent II.  The band is out of Mississauga, Ontario and are considered Canada’s finest punk guitar band at this time.  Good tune with a depressing drug related theme.

 

338. Just Between You & Me – April Wine

Don’t get me started on this band.  One of my all time favourites.  They hit 338 with this great ballad, typical 70’s and 80’s rocker style.

 

337. Prairie Oyster – Only One Moon

Six time Juno Award winners as country group of the year, 6 as Canadian Country Music Awards group of the year, eight albums and members of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.  Must be good, eh!  This tune is off their 1994 album of the same name, and become my 337 on the list.

 

336. Rain Down on Me – Blue Rodeo

Now for a double shot of Canada’s best kept secret, Blue Rodeo.  Formed in 1984, the band is still going strong.  Original members include the 2 front men, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor and bass player Bazil Donovan.  amazing longevity, not to mention a seemingly endless supply of creativity.  13 albums and multiple awards and still going strong.  Enjoy 336 and 335 on the countdown.  First up is Rain Down On Me, off their 1992 album “Lost Together”.  Great vocals from Jim Cuddy in this one.

335. Blue Rodeo – Bad Timing

More of the same from Jim Cuddy, a great singer.  Bad Timing is taken from their 1993 album, Five Days In July.

 

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Interesting Covers – I Heard It Through The Grapevine

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

 

A true classic, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, was written in 1966 by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown.  The song was originally recorded by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.  The version was deemed not strong enough by Barry Gordy and given to Marvin Gaye, who recorded it in 1967.  Gordy did not like this version either and it was then recorded by Gladys Knight and the Pips, who also released it in 1967.  The Smokey Robinson version was not released for many years, and Gaye’s was not released until 1968.  as far as covers, wow, diverse groups like CCR and the California Raisins (a TV commercial with Buddy Miles as the vocalist) have given the song a makeover.

 

 

 

Next up, Gladys Knight and the Pips

 

 

Third, the classic Marvin Gaye.

These were the basic originals, now we will listen to some covers from later on.

This is the song done by Creedence Clearwater Revival, not the 10 minute version.

And to finish up, a version by the British punkers, The Slits.

 

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Interesting Covers – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

Cover of "Freewheelin'"

Cover of Freewheelin’

Three very different takes on this classic.  The original was written by Bob Dylan in 1962 and appears on his second album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan“.  It was first performed by Dylan at Carnegie Hall in 1962.  Over the years it has been recorded many times by a wide and varied array of talent.  Dylan himself has redone the song several times, most recently in 2007.  I have touched on this diversity with what I believe are some pretty different versions, and finished off with the original.

First up, a version by Roxy Music‘s Bryan Ferry.  As expected, it is different.  He recorded it in 1973 on “These Foolish Things” where he did a raft of covers.

Bryan Ferry

Jason Mraz performed this song on “Listen To Bob Dylan: a Tribute”.  Another slightly different take done in the Mraz style.  Nicely done.

Jason Mraz

And of course the original.

Bob Dylan