Thursday, March 07, 2013


These words have been uttered/written many times, though two separate, sad events of today beg for them to be pressed into service once again.

Nothing enhances demand for an artist's work more than word of their death

For those who stop by here to read that do not reside in Canada, the name Stompin' Tom Connors may draw a blank. To be fair, even for those Canucks who know his music, he had reached the peak of notoriety in the early seventies. Connors' quirky blend of shaggy-dog-story-telling folk blended humor with straightforward, three-chord country twang. Drawing on maritime roots helped to put an east coast spin on the final product. Fiercely patriotic, his songs name-checked Canadian destinations big and small, along with the provinces that held them.

Connors passed away today at age 77, leaving fans, friends and family to mourn him.

Alvin Lee found an international audience in the late sixties as a guitar virtuoso. His work with Ten Years After was innovative, mixing rock, blues and occasional forays into jazz. Sealing the deal as a major act with an appearance at the inaugural Woodstock festival, Lee followed this by scoring a huge hit with "I'd Love to Change the World" in 1971. Always somewhat underrated in terms of the big brand-name guitar legends, he was well respected by his peers.

Lee also left the planet today, age 68.

These two figures were worlds apart in every respect but one: Both had reached career heights decades earlier and, for the most part, had long faded from public view. Inevitably, their work will be reevaluated by those who genuinely appreciated what they had done. Conversely, the uninitiated will discover some of the charms that brought each to prominence in the first place. Sadly, it often takes mortality to bring (or refocus) attention to the artistry of the recently departed.

Both will be missed...

No comments: