It's the day before Canada Day and we are at the cottage. The weather has been okay, but not fantastic. At the moment, a thunderstorm is brewing. You know how there are certain records you pull out when it is raining? Well this is one of them for me. And it's Canadian, perfect to celebrate the birthday of this great nation.
Burton Cummings - Up Close and Alone
Burton Cummings has enjoyed an incredible musical career both as a solo artist and as one of the two front men of The Guess Who. In 1996 he released Up Close and Alone, a selection of songs from throughout his career. Recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, the album features Burton and a piano. No other musicians. At times, it sounds as though there is a symphony on stage with him. He knows exactly how to manipulate the piano so that it sounds like there is a drummer, bass player, guitarist, or any other instrumentalist there. This album makes me want to practice piano again. Also the liner notes are excellent. Burton talks about each song and gives some great anecdotes. His banter on the recording is also great. One of the best tracks is his imitation of Gordon Lightfoot doing Rod Stewart. Very funny. I can't really pick a favourite track because they are truly all fantastic. But The Guess Who songs are probably the ones that really standout for me, particularly "These Eyes" and "Undun". A must for any fan of Burton Cummings or The Guess Who.