Thursday, September 2, 2010

2010 Greatness: CR Avery – The Great Canadian Novel


As we enter the all important 4th quarter of this year (is it Basketball season yet?) its time to look at some of the noteworthy releases of 2010 before I start compiling that all-important “Best of 2010” blog post.

My love of CR Avery is deep and well documented. His short set opening up for Billy Bragg at the PNCA in 2008 is still seared in my memory and remains the best opening set I have ever seen. To give you some idea of how visceral the experience was – here’s a video of the tune he opened his set with:


CR comes as close as any performer I’m aware of to channel Tom Waits during his beat poet phase. On top of that, he’s also a killer pop songwriter.

His latest release The Great Canadian Novel is his best album yet (although his best song is still “Disclosure” from Chainsmoking Blues). It begins with the punchy guitar riffs of the hilarious and sardonic “Folk Singer” and transitions seamlessly to the bluegrass-meets-hip-hop of “Town to Town”. The record hits a soaring high with the epic track “Channeling Frustrated Energy”  - a torrent of verse poetry cascading over a Crazy Horse style riff interrupted by a blistering harmonica solo. The record ends with portrait of Pierre Trudeau and CR asserting his identity as a Canadian progressive.

This album will probably land somewhere in my top 5 favorite releases of this year when its all said and done – so needless to say I recommend you download it (legally) as soon as possible.

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