Thursday, September 7, 2017

Recording: Willie Thrasher

Artist: Willie Thrasher

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Matt Cohen Park, August 8, 2017.

Willie Thrasher - unknown

A truly historic night, the Native North America Gathering brought together ten musicians whose early works had been a part of 2014's epic Native North America, Vol. 1 compilation. A smaller group had assembled at last summer's Winnipeg Folk festival, but this event was truly unprecedented both in scale and sheer joy-inducing wonder. Over the course of the evening, the musicians were constrained to short mini-sets, so it's no surprise that some of them had some more music to share. Closing out the night, Willie Thrasher told the crowd in Trinity-St Paul's to wait outside after the concert finished for some a special outdoor after-show, and indeed once the crowds had dispersed, a small group headed over to the corner of Bloor + Spadina and settled in for what turned out to be over an hour-plus kitchen-style hootenanny. Leland Bell, Willy Mitchell, Willie Thrasher and Eric Landry all pulled out their guitars, sang some and pitched in on each other's songs, though the latter two were the most eager to keep playing.

Willie Thrasher has been one of the more visible alumni of the NNA comp, with his 1981 Spirit Child album earning a re-issue alongside his ongoing touring work. A seasoned busker in his adopted hometown of Nanaimo, Thrasher had no trouble at all making himself heard out on this street corner, sharing not only a few of his own tunes but a taste of Dylan and some other singalong covers as well.

[Do note that the this is a rough field recording captured on a busy street corner without amplification, so it's a little more lo-fi than usual. As for the main concert itself, the night was taped for broadcast by the CBC, so keep an eye out for news of when you can hear some pristine sounds from the night.]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Youtube has some busking videos under various titles, but I can't seem to find anything definite. Please leave a comment if you know it!

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