While writing about the Numero Group's excellent Ladies From The Canyon indie femme folk set back in May, I made mention that it might be worthwhile to compile a similar set of the great music recorded by Canadian women artists of the period, including Toronto's Bonnie Dobson.
Well, no labels from this country stepped up, but the UK Cherry Red label recognized the value of Dobson's work and astutely licensed her fab eponymously titled RCA album from Sony BMG, out now on its Rev-Ola subsidiary. Recorded at Eastern Sound over three days in March 1969, the hit-angling set finds Dobson veering from her traditional roots with grander production, but thanks to the sometimes quirky arrangements of Ben McPeek , she steers clear of the lame MOR stuff to come.
The song choices are right on the money, with Dobson singing five of her own elegant compositions, including the post-apocalyptic classic Morning Dew and I Got Stung, but there are also great versions of tunes by her Greenwich Village pals Fred Neil, Dino Valente and Jackson C. Frank. Find out why Bob Dylan was her biggest fan.
Mint turns 15!
To celebrate their 15th birthday, the Vancouver-based Mint Records label has sent the New Pornographers out on a cross-Canada tour with Immaculate Machine and Novillero that hits the Kool Haus Wednesday (October 11). And there with them will be copies of a limited-edition CBC Radio 3 Sessions disc boasting otherwise unavailable live recordings by your favourite (and least-loved) Mint artists both past and present, two of which feature the enchanting voice of Neko Case, which may soften the blow of learning that she won't be joining her Porno pals on the road.
Also available from Mint is Nardwuar's 2007 Punk Rock Calendar illustrated by Bev Davies's amazing on-the-scene photos of D.O.A., the Subhumans, Pointed Sticks, Black Flag, Johnny Thunders, the Clash and others in additon to her entertaining recollections prodded by the grand inquisitor himself. www.nardwuar.com.
Country artists with crossover ambitions cutting covers of pop songs is nothing new, but stetson-hatted Berlin cowpokes remaking the recent hits of Britney Spears, OutKast and Nelly with a giddy-up beat for the two-stepping crowd is a novel concept.
I have to admit the twang-tweaked BossHoss versions of Toxic, Hey Ya! and Hot In Herre are cleverly arranged and quite entertaining, but unfortunately they don't have enough good ideas to fill an album and are forced to pad out Welcome To Internashville (Island) with less successful send-ups. And like many comedy albums, their nutty shtick fails to stand up to repeated listens, but you've definitely got a few tracks worth of sweet iPod fodder.
The punchline here is that the BossHoss revisions are probably a little too trad country to get any airplay on contemporary country radio.