I’m working from home today so that means I get to have a leisurely late morning workout after my breakfast omelet and coffee (and let’s not forget about the prerequisite post-breakfast poop of course) and, hell, I’m even still in my underwear. How awsome is that? This mornings mat routine then has been set to another record I picked up from the end of summer sale at Paper Bag Records, the debut release by Grey Lands, ‘Songs by Other People‘.
ERMAHGERD, it’s a pretty blue color! It even matches my balance disc!
I got carried away there.
Grey Lands is the new project by Wayne Petti of Cuff the Duke featuring eight cover tracks with some of Canada’s finest musicians including: Hayden, Greg Keelor (Blue Rodeo), Sarah Harmer, Joel Plaskett, Nils Edenloff (Rural Alberta Advantage) and Randy Bachman.
“I wanted to acknowledge where I had been, musically,” Petti says. So there are songs by Bob Dylan and Buffy Ste-Marie, by Sloan, all filtered through Petti’s own unique musical prism. The music is far noisier than any Petti’s previous work which isn’t what I had currently envisioned when I first slapped the record on the turntable and assumed my position on the mat..but I’m rolling with it.
His choice of pals, specifically, is what gives it that scrappy, yet balanced quality. For example, there’s Greg Keelor, shouting alongside Petti on Dylan’s ‘My Back Pages‘, only to be buffetted by Sarah Harmer, who coyly duets on Lee Hazlewood’s ‘Sand‘. All of these guests, are musicians Petti has either supped with or toured with or simply meandered alongside at some point. Particular favorites include the impassioned version of Sloan’s ‘Coax Me‘ with Mike O’Neill, the grungy yet delicate ‘Girl From the North Country‘ with Joel Paskett and, yes, although I realize I’m being a bit biased given my love of all things Blue Rodeo – Greg Keelor in particular – I’m pretty fond of Dylan’s ‘My Back Pages’ as well.
One of the other perks of these home sessions (besides being in my underwear, of course) is that I can open the windows and do my series of planks, push-ups, and other pontsy stuff in the fresh air and sunshine that filters through the basement window and all within easy reach of my coffee mug seeing as it’s so gorgeous out today. Okay, honey, you win that round. It does, however, mean that I also have to compete for the warm floor space in the ever shifting sunbeam with Tina the Cat, who looks on this morning as my “Coach”.