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.
According to an uncited (and therefore quite dubious) tidbit on The Tremeloes’ Wikipedia page, the band was signed by their label (Decca) over another English band, The Beatles, who were deemed a bit too far away in Liverpool.
Here we have a Beck song followed by a Ron Sexsmith song. The last time I’ve blogged about either of those artists was in November of 2017, when I posted a Beck song followed by a Sexsmith song. I won’t bother calculating the odds but they have to be pretty damn high.
If you played songs from all of Ron Sexsmith’s 14 albums on random (and I’ve done this), you would have a hard time differentiating the tunes on his 1991 debut from those on this year’s The Last Rider, let alone the dozen in between.