Thursday, October 29, 2015


The T. Buckley Trio didn't have to travel far from Buckley's Calgary home to make this album, just an hour west to Banff. But it took them out of rat race and into an artist's dream, the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, where they settled into a two-week residency. Given a creative space in mountains sparked the entire album, recorded right there by the trio, in a burst of inspiration and beauty.

On previous albums, it's been Buckley's game, but here the whole trio got to shine, with Tim Leacock and Derek Pulliam not only providing the usual acoustic charms on guitar and bass, but also taking turns singing lead, and writing tunes as well. As much as I enjoy Buckley's honey-coated pipes, it's fun to have the more rustic flavour of the others to break up the routine.

Leacock gets to reprise a number he co-wrote with the late, great Billy Cowsill when he played with him in the band The Co-Dependents, called Had It With You, a country-blues with lots of charm. Pulliam's Show Time In The City is old-time and charming, a jazzy little novelty number with humour. The group rearranges a couple of Canadian classics, Neil Young's Birds taken at a more brisk pace, and Lightfoot's Steel Rail Blues sounding like the classic folk song it truly is.

Oh, and just because it's what he does, Buckley knocks off a bunch of his usual roots killer cuts, with his ability to make 'em catchy and tuneful, and lyrically smart. Sure, there's something special in those Banff springs, but you have to bring your own magic there too.

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