Murray McLauchlan ( )Songs From The Street
True North ( http://www.truenorthrecords.com @truenorthrecord )
Songs From The Street is a classic example of a best of collection. With thirty-six songs covering the range of Murray McLauchlan’s career, including three previously unreleased tracks two old and one new, it’s a great introduction to the artist or a great set for the fan who has been listening to all of McLauchlan’s works on vinyl.
The liner notes are short but informative. Written by Nicholas Jennings, author of Before the Gold Rush a book about Canadian music, the notes discuss why the majority of the songs were selected for the album and what was happening in McLauchlan’s life at the time of their original release. More direct comments from McLauchlan or other artists influenced by him and possibly lyrics of the songs would have been the only improvement here.
It is not noted if the songs have been remastered for this release but the sounds are crisp and clear regardless. By example, it’s a delight to listen to “The Farmer’s Song” from 1972 and imagine McLaughlan lying on the floor singing into hanging microphones as per the direction of producer Ed Freeman. It is also amazing to think how relevant this song is today with our corporate genetically modified farms and people yearning for a 100 mile diet. That’s the sign of a great songwriter though, timelessness, which McLaughlan’s songs has in spades.
Songs From The Street captures the overflowing talent of Murray McLauchlan and provides over two hours of great Canadian sounds. Now all that is needed is the follow up tribute album by the current generation of Canadian musicians to keep the spirit alive. Not the McLaughlan is going anywhere as he continues to write, record and perform songs as a solo artist and as a member of Lunch at Allen’s.
By Rob Pingle
Dec 21, 2007