Bridgeworks, Hamilton | June 16
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There are successful musicians, and then there is Gord Sinclair, best-known as bassist with widely fêted Canuck rock icons The Tragically Hip and, since that band’s unfortunate and untimely end, as an electrifying singer-songwriter in his own right and one wholly committed to spreading the gospel of live performance far and wide.
In Continental Drift, Sinclair’s toweringly accomplished second solo album, finds the bassist-cum-lead singer working alongside frequent collaborator James McKenty — who also mixed, mastered, and added guitar and vocals — as well as drummer Jeff Halischuk. The trio lineup is a first for Sinclair.
Another first: the band recorded the album in a reconfigured vintage Airstream RV, allowing them to work in various locations between early November 2021 and mid-January 2022 despite widespread COVID constraints. That novel approach infused the sessions with energy and excitement, evident across In Continental Drift’s nine masterful original songs, which range from hard-charging, snarling rock corkers (first single “Gool Guy,” which finds Sinclair railing against corporate opportunists) to frenetic punk-inspired, soon-to-be anthems (“Carole’en”) to reflective quasi-ballads (“Now That’s Gone Too,” “Change Your Mind”). Fans will find the band, abetted by Gord Sinclair’s son Elliot Sinclair on bass, tearing up highways nationwide after the album’s spring 2023 release. “Canada is such an incubator for live performance. I wanted to reflect that live, ensemble approach to recording and playing and performing with the album,” Sinclair says. “If I’m going to advocate for live performance, I have to get out there and do it myself.”