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It often seems Canada has a higher than average proportion of road-hardened musical veterans plying their trade. Think Ian Tyson. Or Tom Jackson. Or our impossibly grizzled national troubadour, Gordon Lightfoot. Whether you put the blame on geography or rye whiskey, there is no getting around the plethora of rough-hewn acoustic guitar wielders crisscrossing the Great White North. Following in this grand tradition comes Roger Dean Young, whose songs address the Prairies, the Bible, and his penis with that typically vulnerable machismo so beloved of Canadian male singer-songwriters. Also quite typical is Young’s quirky vocal delivery, which has become a staple of the genre. His rasps and squeaks show the influence of any number of idiosyncratic performers–Tom Waits and Rick Danko most readily spring to mind–which should assure Young a place in the hallowed pantheon of preternaturally-wearied musical veterans plying their trade from the Arctic Circle to Vancouver Island. (Karyn Bonham)

CD, Copperspine Records

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