After yesterday’s failed gym and pool workout, I’m excited to get out today and do some exploring of the area while running. It’s hard to believe that just this morning it was raining cats and dogs when I left the hotel, then it turned to sleet and eventually snow and, yet, here I am running around Kempenfelt Bay in a t-shirt. Welcome to Barrie, Ontario. Anyway, I originally wanted something typically “local” for this evenings 7.5k easy run, but it seems that “Northern Canada” is lacking in it’s musical representation, so I settled for ‘Sidelines of the City‘, the third album by Cuff the Duke released in October of 2007.
While their first two records were country-fused tracks the common man could relate to, ‘Sidelines of the City’ is a record almost anyone can enjoy. The band relies more heavily on acoustics this time around, and it adds a catchiness to the record you might not expect, but the band also dives deeper into the country sound by using some lap steel. ‘The Ballad of a Tired Old Man‘ could easily show up on a Calexico record and the long bended notes they add to the folky ‘When All Else Fails and Fades‘ sound great. At times, the album pushes the band into a more uptempo, energetic place like the Tom Petty(ish) radio rocker ‘Remember Those Good Times‘. ‘Long Road‘ is an anthem as Canadian as poutine and toques, and ‘By Winter’s End‘ showcases duel vocals, harmonies and a nice Young inspired guitar riff when the amps get cranked up. Personally my favorite was ‘Rossland Square‘ which really helped set the tempo of my run coming back from Minet’s Point back to the harbor and the really weird, metal ‘Spirit Catchy’ thingee. There’s no drills today, since as far as I can tell, leaping and prancing is likely to get you mugged by the locals here.
After the run, it’s time to treat myself at ‘The Local Downtown Gastropub‘ to a steaming bowl of honey roasted parsnip soup with whiskey cream fraiche and the most amazing pastrami reuben sandwich with white cheddar, wine sourkraut and fresh cut fries. I have to say, this place is a real treasure. And, hey, it turns out they didn’t even look at me too strangely when I entered still wearing my running tights.
How cool is that?