Justin Rutledge "Thugs" (Tragically Hip cover)

Justin Rutledge 'Thugs' (Tragically Hip cover)
Though coming off a recent Juno win for Valleyheart, rootsy Toronto songwriter Justin Rutledge is putting the focus off his own songbook to salute the Tragically Hip on Daredevil. Ahead of the cover LP's April 22 release via Outside Music, you can sample a subtle and moody redo of Day for Night's "Thugs."

Toning down the dirtied-up six-string direction of the original, Rutledge puts the focus on sly and spacious piano melodies, his own vocals hitting a little softer than Gord Downie's rich and distinct tenor. As the simmering arrangement opens up, you'll find Rutledge's voice expanding as well, as if he were the proverbial "excited little bird" of which he sings.

Rutledge plays a pair of album release shows June 13 and 14 at Toronto's Rivoli Theatre. You'll find a few more concert date details down below, along with a stream of "Thugs."

Tour dates:

04/04 Cobourg, ON - Cobourg Poetry Festival
04/24 Whitehorse, YT - Yukon Arts Centre
04/26 Watson Lake, YT - Watson Lake Recreation Centre
04/27 Keno City, YT - Sourdough Café
04/29 Mayo, YT - Mayo School
05/01 Dawson City, YT - KIAC Ballroom
06/13-14 Toronto, ON - Rivoli