Published Nov 16, 2010Today (November 16) marks the release of Garth Hudson Presents a Canadian Celebration of the Band, a tribute to the legendary Band, as put together by the group's keyboardist/saxophonist, Garth Hudson. As hinted at in its title, the 18-song set wrangles up a collection of notable Canuck musicians, including Blue Rodeo and the Sadies, amongst others, to get the job done. Apparently, Hudson tried to sneak an American woman onto a track, namely Neko Case, but that didn't jibe with some other contributors. Well, one contributor: Neil Young. And that guy has a lot of sway.
In an interview with AUX, Hudson explained that he had approached Case following a performance in Toronto, where the tribute album was recorded, and had asked her to contribute some vocals to the Sadies' cover of "This Wheel's on Fire."
"It was recommended that she come down and sing a part," Hudson said of Case. "Now, she's American so I knew we'd have to not mention her name being used on the track when we brought the CD out, but I didn't see anything wrong with that and she would be in agreement, I think."
While Case was born in Virginia, it should be noted that she lived in Vancouver for years and still contributes to otherwise Canadian supergroup the New Pornographers. When Young found out who was singing on the cut, however, he made it known that he wasn't happy.
"When Neil heard it, I think he knew that we had recorded Neko, and he said he didn't think it was right having a girl's voice on the track," Hudson explained. "That was how we kept it all Canadian."
So, yes, Garth Hudson Presents a Canadian Celebration of the Band turned out to be an all-Canadian affair after all, but we probably wouldn't have batted an eye if they kept Case on the recording. American citizenship or not, she's a Canadian music legend in her own right. Also, Young might not have felt that the song sounded right with female vocals, but check out Siouxsie and the Banshees cover of the song from 1987 below. Siouxsie Sioux, a UK native no less, totally nails it on her pop goth version of the tune.