Sunday night I went to a party. Let's call it a Walt Whitman party, for it contained multitudes. It was a Welcome Home Party, a Birthday Party, a Pleased-to-Meet-You Party, and--most relevant for our purposes here--a CD Release Party. I was invited.
I arrived late. As I walked up to the building, just off Main, a smiling face saw me out the window and said, "It's open."
It was. I walked through the door to the main floor apartment, and the first thing I saw was Shaun Brodie, crouched over a cymbal on the floor, rubbing it from the centre out. The smiling face from the window was right behind him, amid a drum kit. I later found out the drummer was Cary Pratt, whose name you might've seen mentioned a few times in the recent Best of Vancouver issue of the Georgia Straight. At the other end of the living room, near a freakishly large frozen dinner, was Mark Beaty on a stand-up bass (not pictured), behind him was CS Rippen, variously known as "Chris" or "Ripper", or "that amazing guitarist from the Tin Cup." In the middle, originally from Lacombe, Alberta (the same small town what issued forth another Bulldozer fave The Neins Circa), stood Roger Dean Young, with his hauntingly clear blue eyes and his trademark cowboy hat, which is more cowboy than hat. All together, that's Roger Dean Young & the Tin Cup. Which meant I was in the right place.
Like I said, I was late, and so had missed all but the last two songs of their first set, thus I missed most of the new songs. The CD being released was their own, it's called Threshold, and Roger tells me that it's his pop album. Which means that the atmospheric meanderings that made Casa such a beautifully haunting album are, well, contained a little bit. The songs are, on average, shorter but the ideas are still big. Roger says they're mostly 3-minute tunes, but I did the math, and the average length is about 3.5 minutes.
Otherwise, though, Roger Dean Young is about as trustworthy as musicians come. As a person and as an artist, he's one of the most gentle and humane folks I've ever met. The rest of the band are eminently likable as well.
If Threshold is the Tin Cup's pop album, "Two Step" and "Manyberries Soul Revival" are its hit singles. For sentimental (and self-indulgent) reasons, however, I'm posting "Black Water" for your edification. It's a song about Regina, and Roger says it's inspired by yours truly. I'm humbled.
If you're in Western Canada (and if you're not in Western Canada, you should ask yourself some hard questions), you've got a few opportunities to spend an intimate evening with the Tin Cup. It's perfect timing, since Roger Dean Young & the Tin Cup sounds best in the fall. It's harvest music, its tones all orange, brown and gold. It gets under your skin and sticks to your ribs like oatmeal laced with cinnamon and brown sugar.
Sept. 26 at the Railway Club in Vancouver (with Greg McPherson!)
Oct. 2 at the Ironwood Stage & Grill in Calgary
Oct. 3 at the Blue Chair in Edmonton
Oct. 4 at the Exchange (Club) in my dear, sweet hometown, Regina
Oct. 6 at Candor Books & Music in Winnipeg
Oct 13 at Rime, back here in Vancouver
MP3: "Black Water" by Roger Dean Young & the Tin Cup