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Cuff The Duke – Life Stories For Minimum Wage

Pronto Toronto Series Pt.3: $2.99 Finds Pt.3: Cuff The Duke – Life Stories For Minimum Wage

No way am I gonna pass by this 2002 effort from Cuff The Duke, not after getting their (excellent) Sidelines Of The City on my last foray into Taranna (the I Wanna Taranna series), and definitely not when I was able to get it for $3! As I noted last time, this was the band James and I saw open for Sloan in Saskatoon in 2003… 

I can cover this one quickly: This one is great, top to bottom. It’s got an indie and yet totally professional feel to its country, folk, rock and pop sound. The playing is so tight, the songs are interesting and brilliantly put together. My only complaint about this whole record is that it’s only 10 tracks… I got to the end and wanted it to just keep going and going, I wasn’t finished with it yet! 

I will play this many, many more times.

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Cuff The Duke – Sidelines Of The City

I Wanna Taranna Pt. 32: Sonic Boom #15 $2.99 Deal #8: Cuff The Duke – Sidelines Of The City

I couldn’t believe I got this great Oshawa band’s third record for so little. Seriously, this thing is worth full price and then some.

If you don’t know of this band, their sound is a sweet mix of folk, indie rock, alt-country, and blues. They use a whole pile of instruments beyond the typical guitar, drums and bass, such as brass, vibraphone, glockenspiel, Moog synthesizers, wind and Hammond organs, and lap steel (among others). It all adds up to one of the most varied, interesting and wonderful records you’re likely to hear in a long time. The instrumental sections are glorious. Heck, Jason Tait (Weakerthans) played on some songs, here: drums (2), percussion (1) and a friggin’ saw (1).

They’ve also been known to play with Hayden, Blue Rodeo, and they had a song on the Secret Sessions tribute to the Rheostatics. Moreover, I had an incomplete recollection of having seen them in concert, but not when… had they opened for Sloan, at some point?… so I asked and yup, James confirmed it, we saw them open for Sloan in Saskatoon in 2003. Neat! I don’t recall a whole lot about their set because I was focussed on Sloan, but I’m sure I enjoyed their set too! 

Seriously. This record is stellar, not a mediocre track in the bunch. If you see it, don’t hesitate! Get it!

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