Music review: George Canyon - Decade Of Hits

It's Canyon's first best-of album, which surprises me, these things are a dime a dozen these days, so it's always nice to see an artist not milking the cow for everything. And just a decade? Well of course Canyon was known to us earlier, with a couple of local Nova Scotia albums out in the 90's. It was his attention-grabbing second-place finish in Nashville Star in 2004 that let the rest of North America in on his charms, and landed him a record deal with Universal Canada. So it's the albums since then, under the Universal banner that we're talking about here.

81ZqkO2HXyL._SL1500_.jpg
Still, that's seven albums in this ten year period, including a holiday collection and two sets of covers, Classics and Classics II. Twenty singles too, so some pruning had to be done. And, there are two brand-new cuts among the 17. For a guy who grew up small-town, and lives on an Alberta ranch now, he doesn't push the cliche cowboy lyrics like so many of his Nashville peers, who own far fewer country credentials. He's more about values, whether its being the best father and husband he can (Who Would You Be) or the good ol' glory of love (Somebody Wrote Love). He isn't part of the party crowd, instead he gets to be the one who reminds them all those good ideas the night before don't look so smart the day after (Drinkin' Thinkin'). And he's very, very faithful (I'll Never Do Better Than You).

The two extra cuts look to be strong draws for fans. The recent hit single Slow Dance is here, as well as the new one, Crazy Love, both of them co-written with Cape Breton's Steven MacDougall, lead singer of Slowcoaster. He might seem like an odd writing partner, but MacDougall has been doing a lot of work with Gordie Sampson, Jimmy Rankin and others, honing his more mainstream skills. These are a couple of strong love songs that move the country star just a little out of his comfort zone ("Gonna take the kids to your mom's/Gonna throw some Lionel Richie on"). This set is everything you want in a best-of from a favourite artist.

more »

Latest East Coast Music Reviews

Tomato/Tomato top the awards nominations for Music NB
Tomato/Tomato top the awards nominations for Music NB
Sep 21, 1:15 PM

Saint John folk duo Tomato/Tomato lead the way in this year's nominations for Music New Brunswick awards. The husband-and-wife team has grabbed six nominations, including those for Album of the Year, Group Recording of the Year and Song of the... more »

 Hot Toddy reunion a Harvest highlight
Hot Toddy reunion a Harvest highlight
Sep 20, 6:05 PM

On stage at Fredericton's Playhouse on Saturday, the members of Hot Toddy had more to share than just music. Bass player Tom Easley had brought along a band tour journal that had been kept in the van from 2001-2003, full... more »

Samantha Martin brings exciting blues-gospel vocals to Harvest Fest
Samantha Martin brings exciting blues-gospel vocals to Harvest Fest
Sep 18, 3:58 PM

The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is well-known for introducing new, exciting acts to the East Coast that wouldn't normally tour in this area.  They might be from Los Angeles or New Orleans, or some of the best Canadian groups... more »

Steve Hill brings Juno-winning, one-man band to Harvest
Steve Hill brings Juno-winning, one-man band to Harvest
Sep 17, 3:58 PM

As the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival celebrates its 25th year, several favourite acts from the past have been invited back, including some that haven't been around for quite awhile. Even though he lives in Montreal, this year's Juno Award-winning... more »

EARTHBOUND TRIO launches new album at Harvest gig
EARTHBOUND TRIO launches new album at Harvest gig
Sep 16, 3:51 PM

How busy is Fredericton during Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival week? It's delaying some Federal government work, that's how busy. A friend of mine, a government employee from another city, e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago to say she... more »

Amy Helm continuing Dad Levon's legacy at Harvest fest
Amy Helm continuing Dad Levon's legacy at Harvest fest
Sep 15, 3:06 PM

It was a Harvest show that went down as a classic for the people crowding in the Blues tent in 2011. Levon Helm and his great big 13-piece band rolled into Fredericton for the jazz and blues festival, and stole... more »

View all reviews for September 2015 »

About Bob Mersereau

Rockin' BobBob 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).

Share this review