Tuesday, May 26, 2015


If you're familiar with the bands The Watchmen and Thornley, you might know the common member, bass player Ken Tizzard.  Originally from Newfoundland, Tizzard has moved around a lot in his career, from province to province, band to band, and style to style.  After leaving Thornley he started a solo career that is now five albums deep, but pinning him down is still difficult.  If you played this new album back-to-back with any Watchmen or Thornley album, you wouldn't recognize him.  But that goes for the solo albums too.

This time out, Tizzard found himself interested in acoustic music, country-folk specifically.  He'd been touring with just an acoustic trio, and wanted to capture that sound.  So he put a ban on electric instruments for the album, added drums and dove in with some well-crafted story-telling.  Inspired by time on the road with fellow Newfoundlander and song crafter par excellence, Ron Hynes, Tizzard came up with a series of character-driven lyrics.  Among the best tunes here are 37 Bullets, which looks at the Bonnie & Clyde story, but not through the eyes of the main characters.  Instead he invents a life of a teenage girl from a coffee shop who sees Clyde in a robbery early on, and falls in love with the dashing character. 

He's taken to this style well, with evocative writing and great sympathy for the regular folks in life.  Everything is recorded in one take off the floor, no polishing, and the warmth and humanity comes through. Tizzard's a wizard at re-invention.

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