Once again we head up north to Canada for our weekly Musical Elective. Ron Sexsmith, a 44-year-old singer/songwriter, hails from Ontario and currently resides in Toronto. (He’s our third Canadian profiled, after Kathleen Edwards and Great Big Sea.)
Sexsmith made his major-label debut in 1995 with his self-titled album. It earned him wide acclaim, based in part through praise from Elvis Costello. He has followed it with regular album releases: Other Songs (1997), Whereabouts (1999), Blue Boy (2001), Cobblestone Runway (2002), Retriever (2004) and Time Being (2006). On July 9, 2008, he released his latest album, Exit Strategy of the Soul. Billboard calls it “instantly memorable.”
The common thread through all of Sexsmith’s albums and music is intelligent lyrics, elegant folk/pop craftsmanship, and his unique voice. I confess that I have yet to hear his latest album, but I have always appreciated his past offerings. Some favorite tracks include “Secret Heart” (since covered by Feist, Nick Lowe and Rod Stewart) from Ron Sexsmith, “This Song” from 2001’s stellar, Steve Earle-produced Blue Boy, and “These Days” from Cobblestone Runway.
I brought a song into this world
Just a melody with words
It trembles here before my eyes
But how can this song survive?
–“This Song” from Blue Boy (2001)
Now, given that we have a newly adopted dog and are caring for a 90-pound behemoth lab this weekend, I gave strong consideration to Three Dog Night, Temple Of The Dog, and Dr. Dog. But I didn’t want to be accused of having gone to the dogs.