B.Y.O.P. (Bring your own plywood) Calgary Does Connors (Catch & Release) Rating: NNN
You heard it here first: Calgary is the new Guelph. That's what I'd wager from the amount of Stampede City talent on this impressively varied tribute to Stompin' Tom Connors. There's a comfy community vibe to covers of Stompin' classics like Sudbury Saturday Night and Margo's Got The Cargo, driven home by the folksy Garrison Keilloresque spoken-word interludes in which people like Andrew King share their fave Connors anecdotes. The coolest part is how diverse bands reinterpret Connors's rootsy hoedowns in their own stylistic idiom, like Agriculture Club's high-octane punk take on Tillsonburg and Falconhawk's awesome transformation of I Don't Know How To Fix The Damn Thing Blues into a melancholy New Wave synth ballad. No real surprises, but simply grand.