Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Got Them Higher Calling Blues

Every time I type the above title, Bob Dylan's Freight Train Blues pops into my head. "Way down on the bottom of my ramblin' shoe -hoo-hoo-hoo-ooooos." Thought I'd share that with all of you. Both tracks I have for you today, carrying in our gospel-ish Thursday theme, get cozy with the Lord. Both get inspiration for the age old practice of looking for something better when those good 'ol times turn a bit weary. Some of the songs from weeks past have been rather dour, at least in sound. Today's offering seem to match their joy with their energy. A couple rabble rousers for you.

The Sadies are somewhat of a Toronto institution. Blending the roots of the countryside with a slight recall of a truer indie era. A tight four piece that did some time with Neko Case as a her backing band; they always seem to be behind her when she wanders into town. Their recorded output has rarely done justice to the force they are onstage. Acknowledging this the Sadies settled down for a few nights at Lee's palace back in 2005, and with Steve Albini behind the controls, finally put to tape their legendary live show. In Concert, Volume 1 features the Sadies and their friends out in full force. Higher Power, off their Pure Diamond Gold (1999) release is a simple and majestic turbo twang spiritual. Never did an "amen" sound so vital.

The Sadies' In Concert, Volume 1 on Amazon

The Sadies - Higher Power (mp3)

The Silver Hearts
are another Canadian band (Ontario) that has been around for awhile, and much like the Sadies, has a solid reputation, based on a consistently good output. Beer soaked country soul, instantly rewarding and utterly faithful. On their latest disc, Dear Stranger (2006), the Hearts, called on the Deadly Snakes' Andre Ethier, to add his voice and talent to their latest collection. New Pilgrim is one of my favourite tracks. Just a raucous spiritual from that opening harmonica gut punch.

The Silver Hearts' Dear Stranger on Amazon

The Silver Hearts - New Pilgrim (mp3)

That's the slice for today. I've got a love drunk roommate (probably more drunk than anything) insisting I rethink my Pearl Jam stance. Can't say I'm entirely against it. Download the tunes and let them fill your soul

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