This past Saturday, I had an opportunity to see both Elliot Brood and the Great Lake Swimmers perform as part of the excellent ‘Summer Concert Series’ at the Jackson-Triggs Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I couldn’t give two fig newton’s about wine, but the chance to see an open air concert of two Juno award winning Canadian bands in the middle of a vineyard on a holiday weekend was simply too much to pass up. So, today, I tried to recapture a little of that magic by listening to Elliot Brood’s semi-recent masterpiece ‘Mountain Meadows’ (which, consequentially, earned them two Juno nominations in 2009 for “Best Roots/Traditional Album”, and “Best CD Artwork”).
Now I’ve been a fan of Elliot Brood’s awkward mix of bluegrass/punk/rockabilly/country styling since the beginning and this second full album release only muddies up that classification further (also dubbed as either ‘Death Country’, or ‘Frontier Rock’). The album title may take its inspiration from the ‘Mountain Meadows Massacre’ in 1857, yet you would scarcely realize how this event even affected song writers Mark Sasso and Corey Laforet, as the ideas and messages that stuck were apparently stuck in their minds were not of political standoffs and anger. Whatever. What this all means for me is an awesome soundtrack for a cool afternoon’s 5k jog.
The REAL good news is that this was the first run where my left foot felt, well, normal. Now whether this is the direct result of my current rehab program or my new gluten free diet is yet to be determined, but I was extremely happy to be out running comfortably again. So even though this was intended to be an easy run, that quick pace at the beginning can be attributed to that imminent feeling of awesomeness, just as much as the fast-paced tempo of the opening tracks ‘Fingers and Tongues’, ‘T-Bill’, ‘Write It All Down For You’ and, later on, ‘The Valley Town’ – the Canadian version of ‘Dueling Banjo’s’ redone as ‘Cooperating Ukuleles’ as the band puts it.