Review – “March 12” – Frederick Squire

Reviewed by Laura Stanley

The very mellow Fred Squire of Shotgun & Jaybird, Calm Down It’s Monday, Daniel, Fred, and Julie and frequent collaborator with Julie Doiron, quietly released a stunning album earlier this year.

With little promotion, March 12 is sadly, a very hidden gem in the Canadian music scene right now.

March 12 was released by Toronto independent label, Blue Fog Recordings, whose music roster includes the likes of Blue Rodeo, Eric’s Trip, and The Sadies.

Producer Brian Taylor and Rick White, a former member of Eric’s Trip and now producer for Blue Fog Recordings, said to Eyeweekly about their label, “We don’t sign bands, we are us and our musical friends.”

Squire’s incredibly low and rough vocals matched with his trademark distorted guitar, a piano, and an acoustic guitar show how talented and musically diverse the singer really is.

The album is filled with intelligent lyrics and simple music riffs leaving the listener with timeless-sounding folk ballads.

The opening track, “What’s That Over There a Dead Rainbow?” is charged with distorted guitar and subtle background lyrics while the end-all instrumental track, “Theme From a Northern Movie,” sparks images of the stark Canadian wilderness.

“You Sing Low and We Will Sing High,” features haunting lyrics like, “That’s the thing about death, it takes everything you’ve got,” while other songs such as “Pretty Bird” and “The Gambler Never Wins,” tell stories of characters good enough to be found in books.

An album highlight, “The Future of Tradition,” is Squire’s take on the classic American folk song “Frankie and Albert.”

For those interested, I picked up my copy at Toronto’s Soundscapes on 572 College St. (http://www.soundscapesmusic.com/)

Top Tracks: “You Sing Low and We Will Sing High,” “The Future of Tradition,” “We Are All The Middle Child”

Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) + *swoop*

3 comments

  1. AMEN!
    I have been saying for years that Fred Squire is a national treasure and as songwriter there are no better. Whether it be in Blue Heeler, Calm Down It’s Monday, or Shotgun and Jaybird – the man is a master songsmith. He is also a delight to see live. He has a tremendous wit and his self deprecating humour in his stage banter is killer. I do hope people realize what a phenomenal talent he is.

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