Canada recently lost a national treasure when Stompin’ Tom Connors past away on March 6, 2013. There will never be another Stompin’ Tom–may his dear soul rest in eternal peace and his songs live on in our hearts–but, if there’s any one musician working in Canada today that has the potential to become as ingrained in the country’s consciousness and culture as Connors did, it’s Shotgun Jimmie. Let me tell you why I’m confident in making such a proclamation.
Everything, Everything, Jimmie’s fourth and latest solo record, is unencumbered by pretense and insincerity. It is a heartfelt collection of songs, that draws the listener in, wipes the dust off a kitchen chair, and puts the kettle on for a nice hot cup of tea, or maybe offers up a cold beer depending on the time of day. What he manages to do in 16 songs and 40 minutes is shine a light on the magic of the every day, and raise the simple joys of waking up and hanging laundry on the line on par with falling in love. hell, he could fall in love while hanging laundry on the line. “Skype Date” isn’t an existential examination of the vacuousness of technology and communication–it’s about getting drunk waiting for a friggin’ Skype date to occur, and it’ll break your heart! Jim Kilpatrick (for that is his real name) is relaxed in his own skin, and inhabits his stream of conscious songs fully. Whether he’s telling us a story, or recounting an experience he’s had, he convinces listeners fully that he’s speaking/singing directly with them, like an old friend.
Starting to sound familiar?
Everything, Everything brings the colour to your drab black and white world; it doesn’t change you or transport you to some parallel universe, it just makes you look at what’s around you though a different filter. In much the same way Connors celebrated the “Canadianness of Canada”, Shotgun Jimmie celebrates the extraordinary in the everyday. His melodies are simple, his vocals unadorned, but man, when he starts crooning in “Over A Million” you know you’re hearing a classic-in-the-making record that will be your go-to comfort record for years to come.
Everything, Everything is released tomorrow, March 26, 2013 on You’ve Changed Records.
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