Toronto-based alt-country figure Justin Rutledge is all set to follow up last year's Valleyheart album, but the solo artist's next record will not be another set of originals. Instead, Rutledge will be issuing a full-length tribute to Canadian rock icons the Tragically Hip. Dubbed Daredevil, the covers collection arrives April 22 through Outside Music.
A press release calls the album "an ode to one of Canada's most popular and enduring bands," as performed by Rutledge and a cast of collaborators. Joined by the likes of multi-instrumentalists Christine Bougie and Joshua Van Tassel, among others, Rutledge had initially rehearsed 25 classic Hip tracks in pre-production, but whittled the list down to 10 by the time they hit Toronto's Rogue Studios with producer Dean Drouillard (Sarah Harmer, Royal Wood).
Daredevil puts the focus on the band's prolific '90s period, from 1991's Road Apples through to 1998's Phantom Power, with revamps of "Grace Too" and "Courage" being among the tunes covered.
"I chose songs that resonated with me in my youth," Rutledge said of the experience. "It was a little like memory lane, at times. As Canadians, I think we all share a connection to these songs — the Hip bind us together the way Gordon Lightfoot does."
The album was recorded in five days with minimal overdubs, and in addition to Rutledge and his back-up band, other artists appearing on the LP include Mary Margaret O'Hara, Skydiggers' Andy Maize, Jenn Grant and Broken Social Scene member Brendan Canning.
You can get a sample of, ahem, "something familiar" by streaming an atmospheric, synth-oscillating run-through of the Hip's anthemic "Courage" down below.
1. Looking For A Place to Happen
2. Springtime in Vienna
4. Escape Is At Hand for the Travellin' Man
5. Grace, Too
6. Locked in the Trunk of a Car
7. Courage (for Hugh Maclennan)
8. Long Time Running
9. Put it Off
10. Fiddler's Green