We have another chance for the Random iTunes Fairy to match a song to a milestone. Today is frequent commenter Dana’s birthday — Happy Birthday, Dana! — so he will have the chance to comment on a song chosen (randomly) just for him.
Let’s spin the dial…
Well, this is a rather funny outcome. This is a remixed version of a cut on Ron Sexsmith’s sixth studio album, 2002’s Cobblestone Runway. And I happen to have featured the original version already, so we have Dana’s first reaction on record.
Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith quietly released his 17th studio album, titled Hermitage, in mid-April. He’s not exactly an artist who pairs up an album release with multiple talk show appearances and a stadium tour, so he probably didn’t think about postponing the record due to coronavirus.
His timing turns out to be pretty good, though, because Hermitage is a very upbeat, positive, sunny record. Sexsmith often leans toward the melancholy, but he’s equally adept at spinning out feather-light tunes with sugar-sweet melodies, and he’s in that mode here.
This April, Ron Sexsmith will release his 16th studio album, Hermitage. The Canadian singer-songwriter has been putting out new music at a pretty good clip for 30 years now.
I joined the bandwagon 19 years ago, when an online group of Elvis Costello fans steered me to his 2001 album Blue Boy. I fell hard for that record, and as often happens with introductory albums, it remains one of my favorites of his.
Ron Sexsmith’s Blue Boy comes in at #7 on my list of 2001 albums. This was my first exposure to the Canadian singer-songwriter and remains my favorite of his albums.
Produced by Steve Earle, Blue Boy has a more polished and eclectic sound than Sexsmith’s first few releases. He dabbles in reggae and torch styles, along with his usual quiet balladry and pop rock staples, and manages to make it all sound of a piece.
I recently made playlists for each of my daughters, filled with songs I expected (and hoped) they would like. They have different musical sweet spots, overlapping with my own and a little bit with each other.
My younger daughter, Fiona, shares my love for gentle, melancholy songs. Aimee Mann, Simon & Garfunkel, that sort of thing. So I knew she’d be a perfect audience for my beloved Ron Sexsmith, who has made a career out of those kinds of songs.