Fri, Jul 19, 2013.
It used to be that any time these types of themed collections got released, the Maritimes got ignored. There have been dozens of them over the years, everything from great driving songs (in both cars and motorcycles versions) to best campfire classics. Summer is the most common, that brief period where almost every Canadian is looking for days outdoors and an accompanying soundtrack. Canada 24 - Rock Your Cottage Weekend might not be the best title, but it is a fine collection of Canadian rock classics and hits, with a few surprises thrown in.
The big one here is the inclusion of two East Coast acts. Now, there's no arguing that The Trews and Sloan have reached national standing, and deserve to be included. It's just that, normally, these sets have stopped at the eastern Ontario border. We might get a token song on some, but two is enough to catch my attention. Sloan step to the plate with Coax Me, one of their long-time favourites, and The Trews offer up the genuine national hit, Hold Me In Your Arms.
It's actually a very listenable set, running just a little under two hours. It covers the late 60's up to a few from the new millenium, largely with feel-good rockers. There are a few obviously weekend choices, including Sunny Days from Lighthouse, Max Webster's A Million Vacations and Sam Roberts' The Canadian Dream. Some of them are a little over-familiar, including The Band's The Weight, and Life Is A Highway by Tom Cochrane. But there are some grand surprises too, hearing Five Man Electrical Band's other hit, Absolutely Right, and the under-appreciated Zuckerbaby with Heavy. But let's get a little choked with pride, seeing our home boys up there with Rush, BTO and umm, Triumph.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).