The Trews Story Series, Part 4: Acoustic – Friends And Total Strangers (2009)
I’ve mentioned this amazing recording in these pages before. This is the first issue (it was later re-released in 2015, we’ll get into that later). Recorded January 30-31, 2009 in the Glenn Gould Theater in Toronto, this is a greatest hits done acoustic and it’s amazing! Let’s go!
Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me stands up well to the acoustic treatment. What an iconic song. The acoustics sound great, the bongo drums are going for it, and MTV is salivating. Den Of Thieves is your first rarity reason to buy this record – it was never released on any other album. It’s fantastic. Of course it is! It sounds like it’s been a hit all along.
The Traveling Kind from Den Of Thieves is brilliant here, When You Leave is pure party track even here, hot damn. What a strong song, pulling you into its swirl and you just let go… Love the guitar solo, and what a rapid-fire pace! I Can’t Stop Laughing brings up the accordion, and it’s gorgeous. Stripping this one down adds power. Imagine!
Locked Doors is your second rarity reason to buy this – once again, a tune never on any other record before this. How was this left off albums? It’s fantastic! Listening to this, you just feel connection, a great message. Incredible. Fleeting Trust is next, and you would think it would work, but it does! Mainly because they make their acoustics rock just as hard as the original version. Stellar version. Gun Control was built to be here, the acoustic intro reminds me of something Days Of The New would’ve done. Anyway, the more I hear it, the stronger it gets. Pay attention, folks. Rock and politics don’t always mix well, but this one nails it.
The crowd is invited to sing along for Tired Of Waiting, and they sure as hell do! Bluesy slow jam acoustic bliss, I love how the song deconstructs itself down to just vocals at the teaser ending. Oh to have been there! The Love You Save follows up, and it’s a bit of R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts arpeggios but a beautiful tune. It’s actually a cover of Joe Tex’ 1966 tune The Love You Save (May Be Your Own). Glory. And, I suppose, your third rarity reason to buy this disc!
Sing Your Heart Out^ is your fourth rarity reason to buy this, also not released on any album before this. And why? Why why why? It’s friggin’ brilliant! “On a night like this” indeed! Man Of Two Minds is next, a natural for inclusion here. The accordion is back, and it all floats along gorgeously. Ishmael & Maggie, as he says from the stage, is their east coast fishin’ and drinkin’ song. I loved it the first time around on the album, and this version here is just as rousing.
So She’s Leaving is our penultimate effort for this release, and it’s a classic Trews tune. The acoustics are slinky, the bongos are going for it, and it’s just beauty in a tune. Hells yes. And this one blends perfectly, via acoustic breakdown, into Hold Me In Your Arms, another bluesy Trews classic off the last record. Yes yes yes!
Holy crap, these guys left nothing to decide. You walk away from this acoustic effort knowing that the songs you know so well as big electric guitar songs are built on chassis strong enough to be acoustic versions that are equally strong. The answer to your question is: yes, the Trews are incredible.
If you don’t own a version of this release, you must do so now. Yesterday, actually!