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Old 07-19-2008, 07:43 AM   #1
Dave, Melbourne,Australia
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Default Australian reviews of "Painter" & "Tony Rice"

As reviews of Lightfoot albums seem to be the topic of the week, I'll add two reviews from Mike Daly of Melbourne newspaper The Age:

Gordon Lightfoot turned 60 last month, which might explain (but doesn't excuse) why the veteran troubadour's first CD appearance in five years is on import only. The voice may have thinned out and the pace seems more unhurried, but he's still writing and singing good songs. That applies especially to the lovely, autobiographical title track and evocative "Ringneck Loon", as well as painterly pieces such as "On Yonge Street" (Canadians say its the world's longest street, 800Km from Toronto to Manitoba) and the children's ditty "Uncle Toad Said". Lightfoot's acoustic guitars are augmented by his long-time band of Terry Clements (guitar), Mike Heffernan (keyboards), Rick Haynes (bass) and drummer Barry Keane, plus a roster of guests including pickers Bill Dillon and Daniel Lanois (the latter's resonant mando-guitar enriches "On Yonge Street"). I especially liked the gently perceptive "Much To My Surprise" and his affectionate cover of "I Used To Be A Country Singer", but at less than 38 minutes, the disc's underweight for a CD. More please next time, Gord ... and sooner!

Tony Rice is one of the most accomplished, tasteful acoustic guitar pickers around, having played across the spectrum from "newgrass" to folk and jazz, with everyone from David Grisman and J D Crowe to Norman Blake and Emmylou Harris, as well as his own Tony Rice Unit. Over two decades, he's recorded a total of 16 Gordon Lightfoot songs. So here they all are, along with a superb, previously unreleased version of "Whispers Of The North". Rice may carry less vocal power than Lightfoot, but the joy of this collection is its elegant instrumentals, alongside luminaries such as Crowe (banjo), Blake (guitar/mandolin), Jerry Douglas (dobro), Ricky Skaggs (mandolin), Vassar Clements and Sam Bush (violin) plus brothers Wyatt (guitar), Larry (mandolin/guitar) and Ron Rice (acoustic bass). You probably need to be a Lightfoot devotee to recognise many of the songs, apart from "Early Morning Rain" and "Shadows", while "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" is delivered as a stark solo.
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Australian reviews of "Painter" & "Tony Rice"

Now Tony Rice seems like an intelligent person.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Australian reviews of "Painter" & "Tony Rice"

Dave and GJA:

Yes I've heard the Tony Rice GL covers album too, and think he does more justice to Gord's work than most other covers I have heard ( not many, to be truthful, of the many, many out there). He certainly is a fine musician. Good album

Thanks David for posting these two. The Painter review seemed full of praise, I do like the album more than Waiting For You, and Harmony, but all 3 have a special place in my favourites list.

Off the top of my head, I believe those 3 are Gord's only North American releases since EOM. Am I forgetting an obvious one ( or two LOL) ? Of the three, WFY and Harmony each have a couple of songs I'd say are outstanding comparitively to the other tracks (which I like, too... just speaking in relative terms).

But Painter , of the three, stands out to me in so far as not only are there relatively a couple real whizbangers, but in fact I find the whole album eminantly enjoyable on each and every song.

Using my yardstick of what I like better of his work again in relative terms: I consider my "inclined to grab it and listen to the whole album intently" factor, as opposed to my custom-compilation of my favourite songs from albums I typically do not chose as much to put in the CD tray.

I catch myself listening to my "wishful-thinking 90 minute set-list compilations" too much, and then enjoy the feeling of re-discovering the parent albums and the rest of his work that I invariably find a new twist on several songs I had not heard quite the same before, or lyrically have a minor revelation "ohhh...THAT'S what he meant.. and then go on a binge of listening to that song and album for awhile.

I'm concerned this not at all interesting to read, so I'd better shut my yap in a minute. LOL... One good example of "so thats what he meant...... duhhhhh why did I not hear that before that way?" : You guys are gonna conk me on this one as a brain-dead mistake, but I'll wager I am not the only person to misinterpret a reasonably ambiguous word in one song most of us love as one of his epics, longer, masterful works with superb imagery, on many people's favourites list from what I've read.

Seven Island Suite. Go ahead and laugh, but the first couple years I had the album ( mind you I bought it new at 15 years old in late 73 I think - the Sundown album, maybe it was early '74.) I'll let the data-miners eviscerate the accuracy of that... anyway - in the song where he sings of "you think you are in luck just because you got chicken to go..." .

Well, I may have had it right to begin with, and am now bass-ackwards, but for three years I thought he meant "chicken (scared) to go..[sic]" but then had a "duhhhhHHH" revelation or epiphany (sp?) when it occurred to me around the sage age of 18, where we DO know everything (right LOL ?)....that he actually meant, better fitting in context, sorta "chicken to go (as in the colonel's fried chicken.... to-go) [sic] " , right ? Please tell me I do not have it backwards somebody LOL ?

Somehow, I don't think I have opened up a 9 page thread subject of rarified and erudite conjecture on this one, rife with highlighted and painstakingly researched hyperlinks to proof-positive of different hypothesis, such as the infamous "we are the NAVVIES" in CRT that so much interesting historical conjecture brewed from, as well as the other I am woven into with my own wack and humorous attempt at "the sound in CABARET".

Unlikely anyone has forgotten that one started in the mid 90's chat room newsgroup days - and one of the guys got a permanent nickname out of it -- John delights in this one- and pointing out my long "aliens - Walmart" post on the sound of:- the beer-can opening, or the match lighting, or the fill in the blank .

John, you may wickedly rake me over the coals with ruthless precision-and while you are at it, I would start a debate with you on the field-specific term usages of "precision or precise" versus "accuracy or accurate" - which have distinctly different defiitions in my field.... knock yourself out my old friend LOL.... I can't resist starting something all in fun.

I might as well accept John is bent on BBQ'ing me over time starting with the "sound", then the endless debate over "geodetic versus geodesic" - which I am quite sure was a yawner to the rest of the group... at least the "sound" was germane to Gord's music...

You may take the first joust at this Sir John, out of deference and referential respect for my esteemed colleagues' erudite and extremely thorough research, and his eloquence with which he will lambaste me with great aplombe, panache, and occassionally crepuscular/involute reasoning, all of which i have learned to simply state - John my good man, whatever you say, I am quite sure you've researched it far more thoroughly and are most likely right.

I will only correct any misquotes or erroneous interpretations of my inane older posts - dumber than my current ones ! LOL j/k John - I want to get a hearty laugh out of you on those memories. Could anyone get such a simple word misinterpretation wrong for so long as "Chicken to go" than me ?

I self-deprecate right away to beat the draconian-level of critique to come from John, actually, I would be dissapointed if you overlook this panning-opp Sir John LOL. Go for it (as Rocky said). Well I am glad I stuck to one primary thought here in this post, with intro, body, and conclusion logically containing a singular premise without any non-sequiter pivots or semingly random tangential subject hopping, run-on sentences, and impeccably concise, organized writing that is well-spaced, terse, and broken into logical paragraphs a hahahahah NOT.

I gotta poke fun at myself... who else is gonna do it ? Well, actually, the list of names who will jump at this chance is: nahhhhh I won't do that.

All joking aside, did anyone pivot as well besides me on the mildly arguable ambiguity of "Chicken to go" ?

One more germane thought on covers, eg. Tony Rice: Hoyt Axton did a wicked-good album of covers on ( I think) primarily Lightfoot, with an LP art winter-setting on horseback album photo, Hoyt in the snow. As I recall, his covers were excellent, and his rich timber of a voice did somewhat better service to Gord in this regard than Tony Rice imho. Anyone else know the album I speak of by Hoyt ?

Well, this turned into a comical mulligan stew of flotsam and jetsam of my quite odd musings, frighteningly, its the way I think. One might think that someone whose job requires computer-programming skills, however adjunct to the main pursuit, nevertheless is required.

And anyone who does this [programming] amidst other primary pursuits, knows the importance of terse, elegant, compact, well-documented, and most certainly logical order and sequential processes; being posessed of these qualities of thought and structured programming resulting from such thought would seem completely antithesis to my modes of thought, while not linear by any means, is in any event defensibly relational.....which reminds me of another thing LOL....

OK enough for now. I DO hope this was interesting or fun for a few readers that remember some of these dynamics from a ways back.... truly all in fun. And isn't that why we are here ? Fun in talking about Gord: The Man and his Music. And sounds
~ geo steve
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