Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Corin Raymond Will Rock Your Soul
Paper Nickels Preview

Get your tickets to the record release and PREORDER a copy of this 2 - disc live set by clicking on this link 

Canadian Tire Caper website and sound samples from Paper Nickels

Corin Raymond has been a fixture on the Toronto Indie music scene since 2003 when he cut his T-dot chops playing the front room of the Tranzac. He's still going strong with a Thursday night residency at Queen St Wests Cameron House where his faithful followers are treated to a weekly helping of the best Canadian roots music to be found at a PWYC venue.

The road to his maturation has included collaborations  with a large number of players and song writers from the East to the West coast and all points in between. His discography includes Record Lonesome Night (2004) and There Will Always Be A Small Time (2009). As one half of The Undesirables he released three albums between 2004 and 2009.

This record, Paper Nickels, is a labour of love that has been over 2 years in the making. It's a gift to fans of Canadian songwriting. Corin has picked up a song here, a song there, put them away in his pocket, grown to love them, respect them, nurture them and now he's birthing them for our edification. He's a song magnet...everything good sticks to him. It can be soft metal shavings or an anvil, but it will stick.

What makes a good song? I can't tell you. It's as difficult to define as why you fall in love. Some guys are breast men. Some love a melody. Some guys love a good lyric. Some are ass men. That's what my wife says I am. (You're an ass, man.) Every artist has a door. Find it and the rest of their catalogue opens up to you.

Paper Nickels saves you the trouble of looking for the right door.

You like a bittersweet ballad?

Try 100 Candles by The Swiftys from Winnipeg, MB. The song is a word-painting. A forlorn figure, flowers in his hands, facing out to the dark blue sea, encircled by the flickering light of a hundred candles. Waiting. Waiting.

Or Evalyn Parry (the female CR Avery) and her achingly sweet Bucket of Time, with this infectious couplet and warning: "but time runs on, it's a leaky faucet/and i couldn't catch all those drips in a bucket..."

Scott Nolan, out of Winterpeg where -20 degrees means it was colder yesterday, provides the hypnotic Dutch, another tale of the toll the road takes on an artists relationship. "many a man has come before, where this road has got him beat/comin' off a late night, on Elvis Presley Street..."

Corin's self-penned Veronica just oozes heartache in the tradition of Roy Orbison's Crying. Love lost and no reason found, except the missed cues. Wonderfully appropriate song for this collection as he 'name checks' two other songs/artists found within; "feels like I'm walking around/ inside a Scott Nolan song" and the closing refrain, "I remember all the nights on the porch last summer/ you wanted to hear "Blues Mama"/ now I've got the blues for you, Veronica...."

David Ross MacDonald's resigned Time To Leave closes out the shoe-gazing. Kind of like The Gambler for lovers....gotta know when to fold 'em.

If you like your love songs a little more uplifting then you have Andrew Neville's Brand New Song with the rhythmically repetitive refrain of "baby, baby, i'm coming home to you..." Or Jonathan Byrd's (he's American but he's an honourary, with the 'u', Canadian) lost sailor song, Little Bird, sung sweetly by The Sundowners Treasa Levasseur.

Perhaps you've come to the bar for a little raucous, sing-a-long music. Truck songs, drinking songs and songs about lost souls on the highway of life. Corin's got you covered. Or he's got someone else covered but it'll work for you.

Paper Nickels opens and closes with two songs that meet this criteria. BANG! out of the box with Rob Vaarmeyer's Ol' Fort Mac. Western foot-stomping music. A little bit of all the vices to keep the men on the oil rigs occupied. For the set closer Corin recycles Postcard from Winnipeg and everyone raises a glass to their last dollar on this 'call and response' song.

In between you have Doug Norquay's Cruel Cruel Town. A song about how show business can beat you down. If we had a Texas vs Canada songwriters Survivor Doug would be the last man standing on our team.

Rob Vaarmeyer makes another appearance with A Big Truck Brought It. Makes you pine for that convoy song. An homage to the men and women who cover the endless miles to bring you product. And a great party song.

From the East Coast comes a drinking song with a hope for salvation, Adam Olmstead's Lord Loves A Wino. This would be a fan favourite at any drinking circle, especially in the basement of your local church.

My favourite Marx brother was Karl. If you're trying to reconnect with that inner communist in you then Scott Cook's The Lord Giveth (And The Landlord Taketh Away), is the cure for what ails you. Except maybe for that Lord part. In a different time this song would have been in the IWW (Wobblies) songbook, or Joe Hill's, or Woody Guthrie's or Phil Och's...the same sense of justice and moral indignation with  a slap at Reaganomics and the Bush collapse.

If you favour your love songs with a sardonic twist then we have some of those for you as well. Bob Hannan's If I Were You Instead of Me gallops along at breakneck pace. Country for the ages and the hoe-down.

Max Metrault's Anastasia was my favourite song the whole of 2011. He was in attendance one Thursday night at The Cameron to give Corin a 'thumbs up' on an early performance of this song. She's one captivating lady...can make a man do what reason would say he oughten to do.

That song was supplanted in 2012 by the wonderfully fun Nine Inch Nails written by Ridley Bent and Dustin Bentall. This one breaks me up..."she moved to Montreal/well eventually don't they all..."  The Hot Rod Linkin riff is just golden.

It all started with Blues, then the rest followed. An ever changing sound from the Delta to Memphis through St Louis and on to Chicago. If Highway 61 reached Toronto John Borra would be standing there belting out Blues Mama. This one is in Corin's crooning wheelhouse.

And if you just like your music to be melodic like McCartney and incomprehensible like William Burroughs, then Raghu Loganathan's Sugar Candy Mountain is for you. Jonathan Byrd, upon hearing this, said it's like a Hobo Jungle Fever Dream. It's deceptively accessible. An ear worm, you'll be singing ' rocka my soul' while traipsing down the produce aisle before you know it. There's a reward out for the meaning of this song.

Throughout the two evenings of this recording, back in January of 2012, Corin spent some time doing what he loves to do...telling stories. These discs contain a handful of illustrative narrative to give a little context to the songs. What makes Corin a wonderful live performer is his love of a good story. These songs are filled with them.

On a lighter note is the history behind the song Change, penned by Taylor Ashton who joins Corin on a duet. I don't want to spoil it for you...buy the record.

So that's all the songs...oh, wait. Not only do you get 2 live discs but there's also a 144 page colour booklet that captures for posterity the madness of The Great Canadian Tire Caper. The recording of this music was paid for in Paper Nickels donated by thousands of fans over the past year. Total raised was $6,000.00. At .004¢ per dollar spent at the Tire that makes this a Million Dollar Indie Recording, the first of it's kind.

The song that started it all, Don't Spend It Honey, is also included.

Here's Corin singing it for the Globe and Mail.
Don't Spend It Honey (Unplugged)

 You can sample some of Corin's 'early stuff' at this site.

Corin Raymond Music Streams

Canadian Tire Starter Video

Now go back to the top and pre-order the record. Hope to see you at the shows.


1 comment:

Unit 8 Recording Studio said...

great album, great review