Originally from Owen Sound, Ontario, Graham Playford travelled throughout Canada and the U.S. before finally settling on Montreal as the locale to work on his music. His voice and arrangements are reminiscent of the kind of Canadiana that usually finds home on Six Shooter Records – it almost has an Alberta feel to it. He definitely has the confidence and weight of a troubadour that has seen a great many places and probably seen his share of heartaches and triumphs.
As Canadian as Playford feels, his Montreal travelling partner Shane Murphy sounds like the epitome of Americana – he sounds like every honest part of Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle and John Prine. It’s a working man’s roots, country that stopped short of heading into the malls and becoming new country, or the farthest ghost town in the old West that rock and roll would stick it’s dirty boots into without actually becoming country.
The local on the bill is Alex Carruthers & The Rhythm Brothers, fresh off a high octane closing set last week, opening for another set of Montrealers, Random Recipe. If last show was any indication, they do well with folk from Quebec. If these guys end up closing out the night (which I would expect may be the case as the other two are playing solo from what I understand) it will be a great compliment and release. Two very sincere songwriters pleading their lives through melody and song followed by a dirty Windsor rock and roll dance party.
Graham Playford, Shane Murphy and Alex Carruthers & The Rhythm Brothers, Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West), Saturday February 12, 9pm