James Gordon & Sons Nine Green Bottles

This first collaboration between Canadian folk legend Gordon and sons Evan (a one-time member of the Constantines) and Geordie (of the Barmitzvah Brothers) is not so much a collision of generations as it is a melding of shared CanRock values. With James contributing the bulk of the songwriting, injected with plenty of expected social commentary, the young ’uns handle all the music, giving the album a quaintly ragged feel. But the presence of unusual rhythms, wheezing horn sections and a variety of other thrift store instruments actually complements the messages behind songs such as "Levee’s Broken” and "Another Silver Maple Comes Down.” It’s the kind of sound that most "traditional” Canadian folkies would cringe at but the brilliance of Nine Green Bottles rests in Evan and Geordie’s pure expressionism with every instrument they utilise. Over the past two decades it’s been easy to take songwriters like James Gordon for granted as folk music has been streamlined. But when his storytelling can take root within a fertile musical soil of the sort that his sons have laid down here, it’s impossible not to marvel at the many artistic threads being sewn together to create the rich tapestry that Nine Green Bottles ultimately is. (Borealis)