Damn those Canadians! It ain't enough they've got enough talent to fill three continents (Colin Linden, Steve Dawson, Ian Tyson, etc. and so on for hundreds of names); it ain't sufficient they conquered America with their exports (Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Burton Cummings, and a cast sufficient to fill a 10-mile train); and hell if they didn't take Americana and fatten it up so that even we 'Murricans can't tell the dang difference no more!, but NOW they're stealing from our shores and stowing away top talent up in the North 40, and I won't stand for it, I'm telling you, I won't stand for it!!!…except…except, man do they ever do a hellacious job doing things up right. Kenny Wayne's latest, Rollin' with the Blues Boss on, you guessed it, one of Canuckland's premiere labels, Stony Plain, is a striking example.
A blend of blues, rock, soul, and boogie, it harks back to earlier times when things weren't over-glossed to Sheboygan and back again, when singletons and bands just sat down, started the tape rolling, and got to business without a shiteload of pretension and market folderol. In fact, Roadrunner sounds exactly like something the Guess Who under Dominic Troiano would've come up with way back when, 'cause Dom knew his blues and soul (and for those not hip to it, his Bush band, an ensemble preceding the same-named Brit outfit by many years, was a way cool gig—the boys only put out a single killer LP but I caught 'em at The Whiskey, and, man, the audience loved 'em), and Kenny Wayne was precisely the kinda cat he'd have taken his cues from.
Up to Roadrunner, Wayne tackles the vocals, but Diunna Greenleaf clicks in on the next ditty and takes control as the house catches on fire in a slow smoky smolder. A stand-out, it still, boys, is NOT the kind of track ya wanna hear 'cause Mama's found herself a brand new nighttime thang, and Baby, It Ain't You! Ouch!! I doubt they'll allow this scorcher on the charts because it'll blow everything else out of the water. Can't have that, now can we? Irresistible and then some. Then comes the breezy I Can't Believe It, a Bill Withersy track with an infectious radio rock tempo that slides into a boogie, Two Sides, with Mr. Smooth 'N Mello, Eric Bibb, jumping in on vox.
Two instrumentals, Ogopogo Boogie and Out Like a Bullet, chunk the 50s right back into the 2000s, joyful rave-ups that'll git the flat-foot floogie back into yer reet pleat, but I'm tellin ya, Mr. & Mrs. American Parent, to start gettin' yer chilluns into arts programs posthaste, 'cause the Northrons are eating our dinners, and Lord knows how much we fat-ass Yanks loves us some night chow. Don't wait, do it now, before it's too late. The immortality of the American Dream is at stake, and everyone's expected to do their part.
And me? I'm moving to Canada.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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