Sunday, January 29, 2006

Shakin' All Over

Beethoven rolled over and told Tchaikovsky the news a very long time ago but everything old is new again with an ambitious near epic documentary airing on CBC this Monday night [Jan 30/06] based on rock critic Nicholas Jennings's seminal book Before the Gold Rush: Flashbacks to the Dawn of the Canadian Sound. The documentary is called Shakin' All Over and it promises to be a monumental journey through the past to borrow a phrase from Neil Young whose own early Winnipeg band The Squires is profiled in the retrospective.

Here's a link to Shakin' All Over...the birth of Canuck rock

I have the Nicholas Jennings book this new documentary is based on and having read and reviewed it, I can tell you it's a great trip from beginning to end. My own generational connections to early Canadian rock music and its history are very strong of course, but I was also involved in music business pursuits for years in Toronto where I once was offered the opportunity when I was quite young to perform at The Riverboat, which is perhaps the most famous of all of Yorkville’s old performing coffee house venues. Toronto’s Gaslight if you will.

I shared the stage that night with my buddies The Good Brothers in their Riverboat debut. Jack Cassidy of The Jefferson Airplane was on acoustic bass guitar. My old friend Sam "The Record Man" Sniderman had arranged for my spot on the bill that night and he and Riverboat owner Bernie Fiedler sat together listening intently as I played my solo acoustic set. I wasn't too nervous, but looking back now, I wasn't really all that proficient at that early stage of my development. I had a few original songs and a cut or two on radio, but I was still finding my voice as an artist so I probably didn't impress that much. It was fun though...such a night. Anticipating viewing this documentary, I'm thrilled to feel a deep connection knowing that I've met and spent creative time around many of these people as a professional over the years and of course, I've actually played The Riverboat in Yorkville.

Check this program out tomorrow night as I'm sure you will love it for all the richness of the history of our creative music artistry here in Canada which served as a prime model in many respects for many of the major developments in American rock beginning in the 60's...let's face it...where would the music have evolved to in the states if not for the important influence of the Canadian icons of Rock history...?

Anyone needing further convincing should think about just a few of the names that came from this country... Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, The Guess Who, Steppenwolf, The Band, Gordon Lightfoot, David Clayton Thomas, Ian & Sylvia, Denny Doherty of The Mamas And Papas...just to mention a few of the more notable and historic names. Remember too that Neil Young was also a founding member of groundbreaking country rock band Buffalo Springfield and an important artistic part of supergroup Crosby Stills Nash & Young.
And Joni Mitchell...without question the prototype and high Goddess of every introverted female singer/songwriter to come after her.

Joni Mitchell is the Muse.

You'll love it. Don't miss it.

I'll be glued to it like I was for No Direction Home.

You can't get a higher recommendation from me than that.

Talking Points: My personal congratulations and best wishes go out this week to my friend and music business associate Lloyd Doyle and his company at Sandbar Music on the occasion of Sandbar's official launch of their new and improved website. You will note my feature section and direct access to my music at Sandbar as we will also be reporting on some upcoming events we've been working on together the past little while so stay tuned here at FRANKtalk for further details as projects continue to develop. More news coming soon.

Until then, I'll be Shakin' All Over with the rockin' pneumonia and the boogie woogie blues. Ciao baby…I hear there’s good rockin’ tonight.


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