I do love me some Stephen Fearing. He’s one of those guys you know of, but once you hear him, you need to hear all of his work! We saw him in a writer’s workshop with Tom Wilson and Colin Linden at the Regina FolkFest ages ago, and even in that setting on that super-hot day I was super-impressed.
In fact, Colin Linden produced this album (and plays on it, too), and Tom Wilson appears here as well. It’s a Blackie & The Rodeo Kings reunion! What’s more, Shawn Colvin provided harmony vocals on a track, Ian Thornley played electric guitar on a song…
This album is sooooo good. It’s bluesy, tasteful, and full of heart and soul. Seriously, not a track here even approaches mediocre. This is a complete album, in sound, song selection, and execution.
This copy I have here is signed by Fearing, to Ron and Margaret. Presumably, this is Goofy Ron from yesterday’s post, only this time he brought Margaret into his goofyness. C’mon Ron. Get it together, and leave poor Margaret out of it.
Seriously, get this. Watch the video (below), it’s a track from this record, played at a house concert. Amazing.
Hit It Or Quit It? HIT!
Surely I’ve mentioned before that BMV has a fantastic selection of CDs in their 3-For-$10 section. Of course I always find treasures in there, so the next several posts will cover what I got at a deal during this most recent trip…
I Wanna Taranna Pt. 9: BMV #9 (3-For-$10 #1) Stephen Fearing – Out To Sea
Stephen Fearing is a Canadian folk singer, but I always loved him first as one of the founding members of Blackie And The Rodeo Kings (with Colin Linden and Tom Wilson). We saw those three dudes once, doing a free artists’ workshop during the Regina Folk Festival. Fascinating stuff.
This is Fearing’s first solo record (1988), and it’s a doozy. The title track is a busy, jazzy effort right off the top and it serves notice that you are the presence of a master songwriter. As the album winds on, we roll through a down east jig (or reel? Sometimes I can never tell), beautiful guitar instrumentals, and enough acoustic guitar singer-songwritery stuff and truly virtuoso guitar playing to fill your listening session with greatness. I wanted to say there was a celtic feel to a lot of what he does, and in looking him up I discovered he was born in Vancouver but raised in Dublin, Ireland, so that might play a wee role in his sound and approach.
Fearing’s voice is, on this effort, clear and strong and, in its own way, just that wee bit slightly gravely. It’s a warm hug that draws you in and compels you to listen. The production here is perfect, with big and rich bottom ends supporting those glorious top end efforts. Overall it has a live feel to it, so rich and full… It reminds me, honestly, of what we might have heard at the Knox Acoustic Café that our friends Irwin and Susan used to run here in town. This would have fit right in – and man would we have been so lucky to get Fearing and these players with him for an evening in that venue!
Great stuff. Check it out, and you can thank me later.