Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ron Sexsmith at Basement Discs

Lunchtime was greatly enhanced by a simply gorgeous In-Store performance by Ron Sexsmith at Basement Discs.

Ron Sexsmith is a Canadian singer/songwriter who is a superb live performer and one of the best songwriters in the world. His songs have been covered by diverse artists and have garnered praise from the likes of Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow to name a few.

His music can be classified as pop and a lot of it sounds very like the Beatles but, if like me, you tend to sneer at the Beatles , Ron Sexsmith channels them (this is a new term to describe artistic influences) with great verve and individuality. He has a distinctive voice, which wavers almost out of tune, but recovers itself at the last moment. He is also a very fine guitarist.

At today’s show Ron played for a generous 45 minutes, showcasing tunes from his latest CD Time Being and also playing songs, requested by the audience, from his back catalogue.

He is a mesmerising performer. Tall, with a boyish face he always dresses in style and has an appealing charisma when seen live. His clever songs coupled with skilful guitar accompaniment, are conveyed with great sweetness.

I have seen him perform quite a few times before and it has always been with great pleasure. Basement Discs was packed for this In-Store so I was glad I got there early to grab a good position for photos.

One song really grabbed me. It was from his new CD and is called Cold Hearted Wind.

It goes:
"Some morning you may find yourself alone

And there’ll be no warning
Should the wind of change start blowin’

Cold hearted wind Is blowin’ in the face of love
But I’ll take it to a place I know
Where the cold hearted wind don’t go

Been brewin’ ever since the world began
It could mean the ruination
Of your best laid plans

Cold hearted wind
Is moving on from every side
Dividing all goodwill has tried
To mend and to unite

You wonder if it’s gone for good
As I ponder that unlikelihood
Oh, if only wishing could
Just keep us from harm’s way always

But I feel it like a train rollin’ down the track
As it calls for you
To entertain these thoughts so black

Cold blooded storm
May turn the warmest heart to stone
And leave a trail of toppled hopes and dreams
Where the cold hearted wind has blown

Cold hearted wind
Is blowin’ in the face of love
But I’ll take you to a place I know
Where the cold hearted wind don’t go"

Of course lyrics often don’t make all that much sense until they’re sung which is an interesting factor in song writing. It is the singing of the words, and the manner in which they are sung, which make all the difference. The above song has a desolate air as it stands, but the tune and singing voice transform it into a beautiful desolation.

Alas, my partner is not a great fan of Ron Sexsmith, so I rarely get a chance to play Ron’s CDs at home, so seeing him perform is my next best thing.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like he'd be worth looking up ... in fact I'm sure i've heard him being recommended before somewhere ... Thanks for the report - glad you had a great time. Hope you get lots of chances to listen to your cds while the cat's away!

Anne S said...

If you like pop music ala Beatles you should like Ron Sexsmith. His songs, however are miles better than any the Beatles ever wrote.

Try his self titled CD first. It's a lovely album and will give you an idea of his style.

As I have 100s of CDs, sometimes I only get a chance to listen to them once. If the cat's away, there are so many to choose from, I'm spoiled for choice and can never decide what to play and fall back on old favourites.