Song #25: “Canned Goods”

Greg Brown is a storyteller. He’s what I like most about folk type musicians: He’s down to earth. He could be flashy and famous, but he shows up on stage and sits down to play his guitar and tells stories, like the one in “Canned Goods,” about specific but ordinary and every day things. He excels at keeping it real. This 14-minute version of “Canned Goods” exemplifies the storyteller vibe

Song #24: “Highway Kind”

Townes Van Zandt was, I suppose, a country-folk artist, but primarily he was a songwriter. I know more people who have passed on his music than got hooked because his songs seem ordinary and unremarkable. I felt the same way until I learned to play a few of his songs, and then they began to feel like my songs, like they were coming from me. I’ve spoken to musicians who

Song #23: “Walk Away”

Tom Waits is the love child of the Cookie Monster and Sonny Boy Williamson and I’d pay several hundred dollars to see him live and not even blink. He’s #1 on my Hope I See Him Before I Die list. I don’t know what to say about him because there’s too much say. I could pick 50 of his songs that grabbed hold of me an didn’t let go. Trying

Song #22: “Help Me”

The last bit of inadvertent influence my father had on the music I listen to — and it’s a big one — is from Sonny Boy Williamson. My father happened to buy a Sonny Boy Williamson record. He didn’t listen to it. I did and my head nearly exploded. Most of my favourite artists are influenced by the blues. I hear the blues in everything. I still listen to and

Song #21: “Nothin’ Stays The Same Forever”

My father’s incidental influence on the music I listened to during my formative years petered out as I got older. He usually bought whatever was offered through the Columbia House record club, mostly pop schlock that I had little interest in. Once in a while he’d order some records or CDs that collected dust, and those were usually the ones I noticed. He bought a series of CDs called Atlantic