Saturday, July 4, 2015

E is for Eric's Trip and for Kathleen Edwards

     When the annals of Alternative rock or, more specifically, Grunge rock are written, bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam usually given much of the credit and deservedly so.  However, nothing ever happens in isolation. In music, bands gain their influences from many sources. In the Kurt Cobain biography, Heavier Than Heaven, he is quoted as saying that one of his big musical influences was a band called Sonic Youth.  In their heyday, Sonic Youth recorded a song called, Eric's Trip.   That song was heard by a couple of kids from Moncton, New Brunswick who, in turn, were profoundly influenced by it. So much so that they decided to form their own band and called it, Eric's Trip.
     In the annals of Canadian musical history, Eric's Trip are revered. They recorded many songs which sounded unlike anything being played on Canadian airwaves at the time. Their music had a pop sensibility but, it wasn't pop.  It could be loud but, it really wasn't classic four-chord rock n' roll, either.  Much in the same way that Dream Warriors, Devon and Maestro Fresh Wes were pioneers in the Canadian Hip Hop scene, Eric's Trip helped bring Alternative music into the mainstream of Canadian radio, too.  At one time, they were even noticed south of the border, signing a recording contract with grunge label Sub Pop in Seattle.  They are as influential to today's legion of alternative artists as bands like Sonic Youth were to them.  Ladies and gentlemen, from Moncton, New Brunswick, I proudly present, Eric's Trip!

     Kathleen Edwards, the daughter of former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leonard Edwards, had seen a lot of the world before ever finishing high school.  Spending much of her youth shuttling back and forth between Europe and Canada, Edwards had plenty of exposure to a variety of music styles and genres. Drawn as she was toward the literate, classic rock poetry of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, it is not surprising that Kathleen Edwards has gained acclaim as a story teller and a creator of memorable characters in her songs.  She has been nominated numerous times for Juno Awards in the categories of Songwriter of the Year, Roots Album of the Year and Adult Alternative Album of the Year.  Her songs are deeply personal and, as well, uniquely Canadian.
     I am leaving a video for the song, Hockey Skates, for you. This song title makes you think that it is a stereotypical Canadian song about hockey but, as you listen to it, you will easily see that she is singing about much, much more than a game at the rink.  AS well, you will notice that she is a bit of a cheeky monkey when it comes to her wit.  I follow her on Twitter. She goes by the Twitter handle  @kittythefool  for those who are interested.

    A tip of the hat is extended to a small but, talented group of "E"-list Canadian performers:
Rik Emmitt, guitar virtuoso and member of the band, Triumph, 70s star, Edward Bear, performance artist, Eva Everything and 90s rockers, Econoline Crush.

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