Ron Sexsmith — Carousel One ψ The Canadian singer–songwriter finds some strange inspirations and a surprisingly sunny tone on his 14th album. A warm, deeply involving set of songs that showcases Sexsmith’s great empathy and occasional sentimentality, but also his often–overlooked playfulness. An acclaimed Canadian singer/songwriter with a fragile, understated voice and a knack for penning minimalist, intimate songs.
ψ “Oh I hope so. Long Player was quite a grumpy record,” Sexsmith says. “It was uptempo musically but lyrically… not so much. I didn’t realize until we were putting the songs together for Carousel One that this would be more outgoing, there’s a lot more humour. I mean, there’s even a smiling picture on the cover, which I’ve never had before. I just hope it doesn’t scare the children.”
Born: January 8, 1964 in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada
Album release: March 31, 2015
Recorded: in Omaha
Record Label: Compass Records/Cooking Vinyl
01 Sure as the Sky 2:58
02 Saint Bernard 3:14
03 Loving You 2:32
04 Before the Light Is Gone 2:36
05 Lucky Penny 3:52
06 Getaway Car 2:52
07 Nothing Feels the Same Anymore 4:04
08 Sun's Coming Out 3:17
09 Lord Knows 2:50
10 All Our Tomorrows 4:04
11 No One 3:18
12 Can't Get My Act Together 3:18
13 Tumbling Sky 2:18
14 Many Times 2:42
15 The Other Side 3:50
16 Is Anybody Going to San Antone 3:28
℗ 2015 Compass Records
ψ All tracks written by: Ronald Eldon Sexsmith
ψ Lori Artinian Photography
ψ Kevin Dean Engineer
ψ Richard Dodd Mastering
ψ Patrick Duffy Design
ψ John Ginty Crumar Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3, Piano, Piano (Electric), Tambourine, Wurlitzer Piano
ψ Bob Glaub Bass
ψ Jonathan Graboff Chitarra Battente, Guitar (Ac+El), Guitar (Nylon String), Hi String Guitar, Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar
ψ Don Heffington Congas, Drums, Shaker, Tambourine
ψ Laura Heffington Photography
ψ Colleen Hixenbaugh Handclapping
ψ Jim Scott Bell Tree, Cabasa, Chinese Drums, Cowbell, Cymbals, Engineer, Handclapping, Mixing, Producer, Sleigh Bells, Tambourine, Wood Block
ψ Ron Sexsmith Guitar (12 String), Guitar (Ac+El), Guitar (Resonator), Hammond B3, Handclapping, Harmonium, Piano, Sitar, Synthesizer, Triangle, Univox, Vocals, Vox Continental, Wood Block
ψ Ronald Eldon Sexsmith Composer
ψ Igor Shutterbaugh Cover Photo
ψ Ken Sluiter Engineer
Review by Timothy Monger; Score: ****
ψ When an artist like Ron Sexsmith releases a new album, it's easy to take for granted that it will be as strong as anything in his wonderfully reliable catalog. His gift for crafting relatable, warm–hearted, and effortless–sounding guitar pop has been proven time and time again, and while some albums turn out better than others, none are bereft of at least a few memorable gems. A track record like this presents a pretty tough standard for any artist to match, but like a best friend whose support you can always count on, Sexsmith's legacy is his consistency and he delivers once again on his 14th LP. Named for the LAX luggage carousel that receives bags coming from Toronto to Los Angeles, Carousel One is a lengthy effort (16 tracks) full of more diversity and playfulness than either of his last two outings. While 2011's slick Long Player Late Bloomer seemed aimed at a commercial breakthrough, and 2013's understated Forever Endeavour was a more somber acoustic affair, Carousel One strikes a nice balance between Sexsmith’s many sides. Produced by Jim Scott (Wilco, Foo Fighters) and aided by a crack band of studio vets, the songs veer from cheerful, buoyant pop tunes like “Before the Light Is Gone” to wistful odes like “Loving You” and witty midtempo rockers like “Saint Bernard.” There’s even a surprising boogie–blues number called “Getaway Car.” It’s a casual and friendly record with less of the nostalgic melancholy Sexsmith is frequently known for, and with 20 years of high–quality releases and a successful, if somewhat modest career to his credit, who can blame the man for sounding happy? :: http://www.allmusic.com/
Label description + Press:
ψ Ron Sexsmith's new release on Compass Records, Carousel One, is the cherished Canadian crooner’s first album in two years. It finds Sexsmith in surprising territory for a man often pegged as a downbeat balladeer: he’s actually contented.
ψ The 16–track album is a warm, deeply involving set of songs that showcases Sexsmith’s great empathy and occasional sentimentality, but also his often–overlooked playfulness. Carousel One (named for the luggage retrieval belt at Los Angeles airport where bags off Toronto flights are delivered) is probably the most diverse album of Sexsmith’s nearly 20–year solo career.
ψ Songs like “No One” came from the idea of attempting to write in the vein of Roger Miller. Opening track “Sure As The Sky” originated as a folky campfire song but it turned into more of a folk/rock number.
ψ Producer Jim Scott assembled a seasoned band to play on the album: bass player Bob Glaub (John Lennon, Lucinda Williams, Graham Nash); guitarist Jon Graboff (John Lee Hooker, Dr John); drummer Don Heffington (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris); and keyboard player John McGinty (Neal Casal, Matthew Sweet).
ψ Ron has been a critical success since his self–titled debut back in 1995, an album that won the admiration of songwriters such as Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney. Carousel One glides into 2015 with the poignancy and craft that has come to be expected of Ron ever since then.
ψ “Sexsmith has proven himself a storyteller and musician worthy of the praise he’s received.” — Paste
ψ “Sexsmith’s voice, a potent mélange of Jackson Browne, Tim Hardin and John Hiatt, ekes out every last nuance of melody, but with a seamless, almost conversational effortlessness.” — David Sheppard, BBC
ψ “Sexsmith confirms his place as artist’s favourite.” — Q Magazine
ψ “Makes a case of the deep blues sound sweet.” — NPR All Things Considered
ψ “His best compositions [have] the feel of timelessness…” — AllMusic
JOHN PARKER, March 27th, 2015
Canadian Encyclopedia: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/ron-sexsmith-emc/
ψ His first five albums are generally melancholic pop folk with elegant melodies, accentuated use of guitars and economic application of other instruments. On his sixth album, Cobblestone Runway, producer Martin Terefe supplemented this style with, among other things, synthesizers, back–up singers, gospel choirs, and string sections. Retriever is considered his most pop–influenced album.
ψ He has said, “...my main objective is to try and stay out of the way of the song. I want to write songs that are good whether I’m singing them or not.”
Awards and Accolades:
ψ In 1998 Ron Sexsmith was awarded his first Juno for the album Other Songs. In 2002 he won the Genie for best original song for "Love Is Free to Go," featured in the film The Art of Woo; for his album Blue Boy, he received a Canadian Independent Music Award. In 2005 Ron Sexsmith was awarded the Juno for songwriter of the year.
1991: Grand Opera Lane (independent, produced by Bob Wiseman, with The Uncool)
1995: Ron Sexsmith (Interscope/Warner, produced by Mitchell Froom ("There's a Rhythm" produced by Daniel Lanois)
1997: Other Songs (Interscope/Warner)
1999: Whereabouts (Interscope/Warner)
2001: Blue Boy (produced by Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy)
2002: Cobblestone Runway (produced by Martin Terefe)
2004: Retriever (Warner)
2005: Destination Unknown (V2, with Don Kerr, released as Sexsmith & Kerr)
2006: Time Being (Warner, also released in 2007 by Coppertree Records UK on 180g vinyl)
2008: Exit Strategy of the Soul (Yep Roc)
2011: Long Player Late Bloomer (Thirty Tigers/Cooking Vinyl)
2013: Forever Endeavour (Cooking Vinyl)
2015: Carousel One (Compass Records/Cooking Vinyl)
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