CMW Review: Joseph Arthur, Jordan Cook, The Pack AD, March 22, Horseshoe Tavern

Joseph Arthur is a talented singer-songwriter with a fairly dedicated fanbase, yet he stood out like a sore thumb on this bill.  With the possible exception of Brett Caswell and the Marquee Rose, who went on right before Arthur, he really had nothing in common with the rest of the acts on the bill.  Case in point: this evening’s headliners were Hamilton hard rockers Monster Truck.  A fine band certainly, but I imagine there’s not a great deal of crossover between their fans. (in fact, I could be one of the few … didn’t stick around for Monster Truck though)  Joseph Arthur played a good set, but I felt like his Lou Reed-isms were sort of lost on much of the audience who was not really there to see him and so generally just talked at the back of the bar, drowning him out somewhat.  I’m not sure who put him on this bill, but it didn’t quite work somehow.  Maybe someplace like the Dakota would be a better fit.

Following Arthur was Saskatoon’s Jordan Cook, who, I’m sad to say, sort of had me hating live music for a minute there.  He and his band plowed through some rather generic blues rock (or is it “blooz rawk?”) that did not sit well with me at all.  Not that Cook and his band aren’t talented or anything, it’s just that it’s hard to make this kind of thing sound all that good.  There’s a fine line between The Black Keys and Blueshammer, and these guys are on the wrong side of that line.  During their set, a friend asked, “Are they from Nickelback country?”  More or less.  In fact, I imagine I’d find a Nickelback set infinitely more entertaining than these guys.  Still, they played a Fleetwood Mac cover so I can’t hate on them too much, and some people up front seemed to be enjoying it.  Not my cup of tea though

Following Cook’s unremarkable blues rock, the blues rock of The Pack AD sounded absolutely stellar by comparison.  They avoided the overly cliched stylings of Cook and band and added a bit of a punk edge.  Despite an energetic set, they still left something to be desired, largely in the form of stage banter.  It needs a bit more work, ladies.  Just sayin’.

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week

2 Responses to CMW Review: Joseph Arthur, Jordan Cook, The Pack AD, March 22, Horseshoe Tavern

  1. PhyllisButte77

    Joseph Arthur stinks no matter where he’s playing…succumb to good music! The band you just had to leave without checking out, Monster Truck, the ladies who needed “better stage banter” of The Pack AD, and the “out of place rock-blues guys” of Jordan Cook’s band were like getting a mouth sex from Joanna Kerns (the Growing Pains years…you know you’d thought about it many times!) with Linda Carter (from The Wonder Woman years, hell to now!) fondling your familiars, after listening to Joseph Arthur and his “broken alarm clock” (can’t stay awake through it) set. Grow some ears for god’s sake, rock n’ roll should be about pushing your wheelchair-bound grandfather down a flight of stairs, not singing Enya songs to him (not that there’s anything wrong with Enya’s music…compared to Joseph Arthur’s)! Asshole!!!

  2. Paul

    OK, first off, I will admit that Joseph Arthur is not exactly the most energetic live, nor was this one of his best shows. That said, at least he’s doing something different, unlike Jordan Cook and co, who, while good musicians, brought nothing new to the table save for that Fleetwood Mac cover which I did give them props for. If I wanted to hear some standard blues rock, I’d listen to Johnny Winter or something. And you seem to be suggesting that I don’t get rock n’ roll or something. I’ve seen plenty of great rock n’ roll over the years, and Jordan Cook just did not impress me much. Had I stuck around for Monster Truck, I’m sure they would have blown me away, but I’ve seen ‘em a couple times already so I left after The Pack AD to check out Modernboys Moderngirls, a pretty good rock n’ roll band. And why are you putting “out of place rock-blues guys” in quotes? I never even said that nor did I suggest they were out of place. They fit in perfectly on this bill, unlike Arthur, who as I said (and you can quote me on this) stuck out like a sore thumb on this bill. Yeah, maybe I was a bit hard on Jordan Cook. I suppose if you like blues rock, you’ll probably like his stuff. I, however ,was not a big fan. Different strokes for different folks …

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