Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New music

  • Print
Sonic excursion aside, A Letter Home is mostly an idiosyncratic Young indulgence rather than a solid adjunct to his bloated musical catalogue.

VICTORIA WILL / ASSOCIATED PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Sonic excursion aside, A Letter Home is mostly an idiosyncratic Young indulgence rather than a solid adjunct to his bloated musical catalogue.

Rock

Neil Young
A Letter Home (Warner)

CALL it an artistic extravagance, unabashed confidence or ego-driven self-satisfaction, but Can/American rocker Neil Young has really never stayed the safe course, musically. After raising over $6 million in crowd-sourced bucks to fund his Pono digital music player, Neil then recorded his next album on Jack White's extra lo-fi, '40s-vintage, Voice-o-Graph recording machine in glorious mono.

Sonic excursion aside, A Letter Home is mostly an idiosyncratic Young indulgence rather than a solid adjunct to his bloated musical catalogue. The album opens with Young addressing his dead mother, asking her to start talking to his deceased father again, sounding as if he believes the aged recording device is some kind of weird conduit to the afterlife. Tracks include a couple of Gordon Lightfoot songs, Dylan's Girl From the North Country, Bruce Springsteen's My Home Town, the Willie Nelson-penned nugget Crazy and more.

In the end, ALH just sounds kind of creepy and strange -- and for Young, that may actually translate into sales. This is suited to specific musical tastes. 2-1/2 stars

DOWNLOAD THIS: Reason To Believe

-- Jeff Monk

 

Rock

DUB RIFLES
No Town No Country: EPs and Rare Recordings 1981-1984 (Sundowning Records)

IN 1983, American alternative rock magazine Trouser Press released a 20-track compilation tape called Trouser Press Presents: The Best of American Underground, which featured a brassy little post-punk band from Winnipeg called Dub Rifles, the only Canadian group in the collection.

Local fans were ecstatic, but also knew Stand, with its breezy, saxophone-fuelled melody and a crunching guitar line that built to an anthemic chorus, wasn't even the band's best song. Over their brief, four-or-so year 'career' as a working band, singer/guitarist Colin Bryce, saxophonists Matthew (Sid) Challenger and Dave Brown, bassist Clint Bowman and drummer Eloi Bertholet created an intoxicating polyglot that swung and swayed and rocked and, mostly, just burned with the passion of young people who have discovered they're onto something and don't ever want to stop.

This overdue collection gathers the five songs from No Town No Country, the group's 1982 seven-inch EP, plus the three tracks from 1983's Boom! and augments them with 10 live recordings from the band's last phase, an abortive attempt to live and work in Montreal in the spring of 1984. Fans will know and love the eight studio tracks (Testify and Production of Funds are my faves) but there are several gems in the live material, including the relentless groove of Bomb Shakes the Dance Hall and the slashing funk of Face Up! (The Market is Falling).

Band members, family and friends are gathering to celebrate the release of this collection on June 6 at the Orbit Room. Be there. 4 stars

DOWNLOAD THESE: Stand, Testify

-- John Kendle

 

Jazz

Sonny Rollins
Road Shows, Vol. 3 (Doxy/Okeh)

SAXOPHONE colossus Sonny Rollins, approaching his 84th birthday, shines brightly live and this third volume of his Road Shows series proves it, again.

The six tracks, four from Rollin's pen, are culled from concerts from 2001-2012.

The tenor saxophonist revisits Someday I'll Find You -- which he first recorded in 1958 as an up-tempo number -- in its original ballad form. He plays the Noel Coward tune with astonishing intensity.

Rollins has always excelled playing in the moment (despite a catalogue of great studio recordings) and the hand-picked performances range from the energetic starter Biji to Patanjali, a Rollins' groove number appearing on record for the first time, to Why Was I Born?, a 23:39 jewel with the saxophonist trading solos back and forth with drummer Steve Jordan.

Unlike Vol. 2, which featured Rollins' 80th birthday concert with special guests in New York, Vol. 3 features his working bands, with stalwarts Clifton Anderson on trombone and Bob Cranshaw on bass on all tracks and a shifting lineup on piano, guitar, drums and percussion. 5 stars

DOWNLOAD THIS: Solo Sonny

-- Chris Smith

 

Country

The Road Hammers
Wheels (Open Road)

THE Road Hammers have finally returned with their much anticipated followup to 2009's Road Hammers II.

The CCMA and Juno award-winning band got together when Jason McCoy formed the side project with drummer Corbett Frasz, focusing on a sound that mated Dave Dudley with Lynyrd Skynyrd.

On Wheels, they've pumped up the volume (and the attitude) even more. The band, which also includes vocalist/guitarist Clayton Bellamy and bassist Chris Byrne, breathes new life into spirited covers of the Hank Snow hit I've Been Everywhere and Steve Earle's Hillbilly Highway (featuring hick-hopper Colt Ford). However, BTO's classic Roll on Down the Highway sounds low on fuel even with assistance from original vocalist Fred Turner.

The band really shines on the originals like Get On Down the Road, the pretty ballad Annie and the incredibly infectious ode to Mud that blatantly (and beautifully) borrows from David Bowie's Fame and the Beatles' All You Need is Love. Wheels is a solid 10 pack of windows-down, stereo-cranked, country rockin' bliss. 3-1/2 stars

DOWNLOAD THIS: Get on Down the Road

-- Bruce Leperre

 

This week's singles

NICKI MINAJ
Pills N Potions (Cash Money/Republic)
Words like "soulful" and "inspirational" aren't typically associated with Ms. Minaj (usually it's more like "gimmicky" and "obnoxious"), but that's precisely the approach she takes on this borderline ballad. Following up the dark and brooding Lookin' Ass N a, the latest from her upcoming Pink Print project is probably the most mature-sounding thing she's ever done. 3 stars

 

NICOLE SCHERZINGER
Your Love (RCA)
Nicole Scherzinger's solo success post-Pussycat Dolls has been tepid at best, but she's looking to redeem herself, and her latest has all the ingredients of a proper summer dance anthem, including a crunchy, piano-driven disco beat and an unshakeable "do do dooo" chorus. It probably doesn't hurt that it was produced by The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, who were responsible for the likes of Rihanna's Umbrella and Beyoncé's Single Ladies. 3-1/2 stars

 

DEADMAU5 FEAT. COLLEEN D'AGOSTINO
Seeya (Astralwerks/Capitol)
Included on the mau5-headed one's forthcoming album, the abstrusely titled while(1<2), Seeya seems somewhat restrained compared with much of the rest of his catalogue. With a sexy, cool vocal, and a creeping, electro-funk beat that's vaguely reminiscent of Daft Punk's Around the World, this is EDM from the more discerning end of the spectrum. 4 stars

-- Steve Adams

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 5, 2014 ??65532

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Stuary Murray announces musical RightsFest for CMHR opening weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fight as a male defends his nesting site at the duck pond at St Vital Park Thursday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 08- May 10, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Winnipeg control growth to deal with climate change?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google