Author Archives: Joe Taylor

The Guess Who – American Woman

The Guess Who – American Woman

The 1970’s were just getting off the ground and fans of the Guess Who were about to be surprised. The band so far, was known for their more melodic pop tunes and ballads. Then you put this new record on and it starts off as a bluesy piece that jumps straight into an angry hard rocker that was born from a free form jam on stage. Ushering a new strong direction, the Guess Who seemed to be reinventing themselves as a band with a new voice.

With the song, “No Time”, there was a new ringing in the ears for the listeners everywhere and that vibe was strong. No Time simply does not leave you alone, it simply resonates the ending of the summer of love. What did resonate was the fact that the States had this album in their charts for a year. Not bad for a Canadian band.

The minstrel hued, “Talisman”, seemed to be one more effort of Burton Cummings trying to channel the energy of Jim Morrison. The end result comes off a little cold and lonely. Things pick up again with the Beatlesque twin tune, “No Sugar Tonight/ New Mother Nature. This was song that truly showed the power of creativity within this band. A joyous romp of travelling down a new path with rose coloured glasses.

Side 2 continued with a bunch of experiments that had bigger potential, but this was a period of stressful creative difference between Burton and Randy. The flowery jazz instrumental, “969” is a very good piece but seemed to be a bit of a misfit for the sound of this record. It seemed that Randy Bachman needed to get through this jazzy period, because you hear it on other albums as well. The next two songs, “When friends fall out”, and “8:15”, seem to run out of some steam. The grooves are still there but come off sounding a little tired.

Proper Stranger gets the sound back on track with a great push/pull sound. They finish off the same way they started with, a very bluesy version of, “Humpty’s Blues/American Woman”.

Soon after this record, Randy Bachman would leave to do his own work. It left Burton Cumming to forge forward with the Guess Who, and did so for a number of years before he decided to go solo. American Woman would not only usher in the 70’s with a solid record, but also saw the demise of a great singer/songwriting duo. These two were our Canadian Lennon/McCartney and they did leave us with a whole host of great Canadian music to be proud of.

Here are some images of The Guess Who:

Neil Young – Harvest

Neil Young – Harvest

With over 50 albums to his credit, it is really difficult to just choose one great Neil Young album. So instead of debating this endless topic with everyone, I am sure you will see other Neil Young postings in the Canadian Shield. Harvest is Neil’s fourth solo album, coming off the heels of another mega… Continue Reading

Jupiter Hollow – Bereavement

Jupiter Hollow – Bereavement

  This is not a CD for the faint of Heart. I think that is a fair statement to start off with. It will challenge you intellectually, emotionally and technically. It is as if you become part of this onslaught. The story itself is pretty straight forward and self explanatory. The way they organize the… Continue Reading

April Wine Interview intro.

April Wine Interview intro.

  Lately I was lucky to correspond with Myles Goodwyn from April Wine. Since I am a fan of the band for many years, I was thrilled that he would answer a few questions for Blast Toronto. Last October, he released a record called Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues 2. His friends this… Continue Reading

Spoons – Arias and Symphonies

Spoons – Arias and Symphonies

The year is 1982 and Toronto was in a swirl of young electronic pop bands that were jostling for attention to get into the bigger spotlight. I recall bands like Images in Vogue, Blue Peter, The Parachute Club, Martha and the Muffins, Platinum Blonde, and Rough Trade. They were all out to seize the new… Continue Reading

Let’s meet Maitreya

Let’s meet Maitreya

A while back I was reviewing a punk rock band in the Junction and Mark Wylie was one of the people playing that evening. He was doing his own thing with a guitar that really caught my ear. I spoke with him and he told me he was in a Hard core Metal band. I… Continue Reading

The Tea Party – Transmission

The Tea Party – Transmission

Back in 1991, a self titled album was making some noise on the airwaves and a song called, “Save Me”, began to grab the attention of Toronto. I was lucky enough to grab a tape of it, because this recording is a pretty rare find. A year later, the debut album came out called, “Splendor… Continue Reading

Voivod – War and Pain-1984

Voivod – War and Pain-1984

Here is a quick history lesson on Heavy Metal. 1980 saw the explosion of Heavy Metal and it was coming from the Uk. This period was called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Motorhead engrained themselves in the North American Psyche as well as taking over the… Continue Reading

Blue Rodeo – Outskirts

Blue Rodeo – Outskirts

This little write up could have been about any Blue Rodeo record in their discography. The reason I chose this one was the fact that this was the first of many great recordings they would accomplish over their career. These boys are still going strong after 33 years since this record. Canada has a rich… Continue Reading