Skydiggers The Truth About Us: A Twenty Year Retrospective

Hearing these 22 tracks, it's actually bittersweet to think of how much the Skydiggers were taken for granted during their prime years in the '90s. Seeing them play on a regular basis was almost automatic, especially if you lived in southern Ontario, and they never disappointed. In some ways, the combination of unique personalities laid the foundation for longevity: Andy Maize's manic joyfulness perfectly complemented the stoic cool of Peter Cash, while Josh Finlayson drove the rhythm like some lumber camp Keith Richards and Ronny von Johnny was, well, Ronny von Johnny. But on top of it all were instantly memorable songs that turned a new leaf on Canada's folk and country music traditions. That energy remains undiminished on The Truth About Us, from the barebones vigour of the self-titled debut to the slick twang (and emergence of the Cash Brothers) on Road Radio. What this album thankfully reminds us of is that the band didn't bow out after that. Later material like "Where Is My Baby Tonight," "Losing Altitude" and the title track certainly deserve their places. The only gripe is that the original tapes from Restless and Just Over This Mountain seem to be lost forever, and newly recorded versions of "A Penny More" and "Pull Me Down" take some getting used to. Still, The Truth About Us offers a lasting tribute to one of Canada's great bands. (Pheromone)