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Recent Tracks: Trans-Canada Highwaymen pay tribute to AM hits of the previous on enjoyable debut album

“These dignified elder statesmen are/Far too well-known to haul their very own tools” however Canadian AM radio hits pulled by the filter of 90s rock works – magnificently

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Trans-Canada Highwaymen: Explosive Hits Vol. 1

The overall consensus for musical supergroups is that they’re seldom the sum of their elements. For each CSNY and Touring Wilburys is a Rattling Yankees and Monsters of Folks. Whereas it’s nonetheless too early to find out the place the Trans-Canada Highwaymen will land within the rankings of rock supergroups, its first launch simply is likely to be probably the most joyful listening expertise you’ll have this 12 months.

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Positive, Trans-Canada Highwaymen consists of 4 of this nation’s greatest rock singer-songwriters whose largest hits have been within the ’90s, however they’re additionally not aiming for pop-culture dominance with their first launch,  Explosive Hits Vol. 1. The group consisting of Edmonton’s Moe Berg of The Pursuit of Happiness, Sloan’s Chris Murphy, Odds’ Craig Nothey and former Barenaked Women frontman Steven Web page — first got here collectively in 2017 to tour as a collective, enjoying one another’s songs on the nostalgia circuit and commerce dad jokes.

For his or her subsequent step, the 4 musicians picked a handful of Canadian AM rock radio hits to document throughout COVID lockdowns. Recorded remotely however blended within the Odds’ North Vancouver studio, the ensuing album pays tribute to the Ok-Tel compilation information of the Seventies, proper all the way down to the chintzy album paintings.

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Sloan followers will acknowledge the idea from the group’s Recorded Reside at a Sloan Occasion, which blended covers with originals (it’s an actual gem and price looking for.) With Explosive Hits Vol. 1 listeners are introduced with a CanCon inception of types: Canadian radio hits from the late ’60s to’ 70s as filtered by Canadian rockers from the ’90s. However it works, magnificently.

Tracks vary from The Guess Who’s Undun, Andy Kim’s Rock Me Gently and The Stampeders’ Carry Me to The Poppy Household’s Which Means You Goin’ Billy? Berg sings on Lighthouse’s Fairly Girl, Joni Mitchell’s Raised on Theft and Edward Bear’s You, Me and Mexico. The Trans-Canada Highwaymen’s renditions are largely devoted to the originals, with small bits of character sneaking by, such because the guitars a bit of bit louder and crunchier, however nonetheless devoted to the supply materials, proper all the way down to the tune fade out on Heartbeart, It’s a Lovebeat.

Highlights embody Murphy’s tackle Michel Pagliaro’s Lovin’ You Ain’t Simple full with Beatle-fied vocal harmonies and funky keyboard traces, Nothey rockin’ model of Tonite Is A Fantastic Time To Fall In Love and Berg bashing out Raised on Theft as if fronting a storage band. 

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Trans-Canada Highwaymen
Trans-Canada Highwaymen’s Explosive Hits Vol. 1. Picture by provided

Nevertheless, it’s Web page who shines brightest on this set. Not solely is he the strongest singer of the 4, effortlessly nailing Burton Cummings’ excessive notes on Undun, however he additionally penned the lone unique on the album: Theme From Trans-Canada Highwaymen. A witty, self-deprecating story-song on how the band got here collectively, à la Creeque Alley or Wonderboy, the monitor options Web page singing over a chugging beat, detailing the supergroup’s origins. “These dignified elder statesmen are/Far too well-known to haul their very own tools/ I wager they solely do it ‘trigger they’re such/Humble, down-to-earth Canadians” It’s a hoot and features a shout-out to Gord Downie, RIP.

The love of their craft is clear on Explosive Hits Vol. 1. Schmaltzy pop songs are elevated to iconic standing within the arms of those 4 musicians, which can stir pangs of nostalgia inside you. You’ll be hard-pressed to discover a extra joyful hear this 12 months. Carry on Vol. 2.

Stream Explosive Hits Vol. 1 on all main music companies.

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