Round and Round

Happy Friday!

It feels like the weather has suddenly changed. When I set off on my bike this morning, it was just 7°C (44°F). It stayed on the cold side through the ride, so I was wearing some extra clothing to keep warm. It felt good to be moving after a few days off the bike.

This seasonal transition has me thinking a lot about summer: the hot, beautiful summer we’ve been having this year, and memories of other summers. It’s my favourite season. 

A summer sunset scene on a lake, with clouds in the sky.
Summer sunset, 2020. Photo © Steve West.

Three years ago, on August 15, I was at Winnipeg, Canada’s best honky-tonk, The Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club, with my older lad, Kieran. We saw an act called king creosote + michael johnston. Kieran had played the Trout Forest music festival the weekend before and had met and heard KC + MJ there.

I’d first heard KC + MJ’s music some months before, on CBC Radio 2’s overnight, DJ-less show Nightstream when “Round and Round” was on the playlist. I Shazamed it, but the app couldn’t identify the song, maybe because it was only newly issued or was before release. I kept searching for the song and finally found it, along with the album The Bound of the Red Deer. I wrote to the artists through their band site, which told me that King Creosote (aka Kenny Anderson) is based in Crail, a fishing village in Scotland, and Johnston, in Toronto (and is a former Winnipegger). The two describe their collaborative relationship as a “decade-long, trans-Atlantic bromance.” They responded to my message with appreciation for my comments and told me a yet-to-be-announced show would be happening in Winnipeg in the summer. I was so excited!

The show was fabulous; wonderful music. Before and after their set, I had conversations with Johnston and Anderson, and it was a memorable evening for my lad and me. Bother musicians signed the CD I bought at the show, and Anderson gave me his broken guitar pick, which was reminiscent of 80s concert souvenirs and added to the thrill of the night. When I told him how long I had searched for “Round and Round,” Anderson said in his Scottish brogue, “Hunger is the best sauce.”

A CD in an open CD case.
My souvenirs of August 15, 2017.

Both men’s humility, friendliness and generous spirits moved me, and I still look back fondly at memories of that evening. 

Playing the drum kit that night for KC + MJ was Joanna Miller, a talented and versatile Winnipeg drummer and singer. The opener was Leaf Rapids, a local band I had not seen before but really enjoyed… their sound complemented the main act’s.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy. I hope you will leave me a comment with your thoughts on this post; I’d love to hear from you.

Here is the official audio for the song from the KC + MJ SoundCloud account. Please remember to click on the “heart” on the song page if you appreciated the artists’ work. And, like Elbow’s Guy Garvey says, don’t stream it for a pittance… buy the recording so the musicians can make more!

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