Ray Materick Life And Times

Ray Materick might not be an instantly recognisable name, but his musical career has spanned more than three decades and back in those early days, he was a mainstay of the Toronto music scene. His debut album, Sidestreets, was showered with praise and the lead single, "Linda Put The Coffee On,” was absolutely everywhere in 1973. Life And Times features his first new material in a few years, but it also includes a CD with songs from his first four solo albums. The songs hint at folk and country influences — it is clear that Bob Dylan was a huge influence on Materick, but there is also a strong blues influence and that is particularly apparent on the newer songs. Materick’s style hasn’t changed much at all (although that isn’t true of all the albums he’s recorded in the meantime), but he knows his strengths and plays to them. The second CD with the older material is the real draw of Life And Times because it offers the chance for a whole new generation to discover one of Canada’s forgotten singer-songwriters. Not that the new material isn’t without its good songs (and it could even be argued that he is almost back to the top of his game again), but the band he put together in the ’70s (which featured Daniel Lanois) is just so good that it sounds fresh even 30 years later. The word is that he has managed to reform the old band to rerecord some of the older songs, but these will do quite nicely in the meantime. (Linus)