James Hillis

Archive for July, 2015|Monthly archive page

My 50 Great But Sadly Unknown Albums #43 Rumour and Sigh

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2015 at 10:42 pm

Rumour and Sigh( 1991) is Richard Thompson’s sixth solo album, he had previously been in the English folk group Fairport Convention and recorded with his then wife Linda Thompson ( they appear later on this list).  The album itself did not appear on the North American charts it did well in Europe and weilded a top 15 hit with “I Feel So Good’ and on the basis of that song he wound appearing on the David Letterman Show to promote it which helped sales of the album and it was nominated for the Grammy’s that year but lost to R.E.M.  This album also contains the song ” 1952 Vincent Black Lightening” which has become his most well known song amongst his solo work and is on Time Magazines  all-time 100 songs, and has been covered by over 20 different artists one of which is Bob Dylan. The album itself is full of challenging work and the time flys by once you get in to it.  My personal favourites are of course “1952” ” I Misunterstood” and “God Loves A Drunk”

Track listing

All songs written by Richard Thompson:

  1. “Read About Love” – 3:34
  2. “I Feel So Good” – 3:21
  3. “I Misunderstood” – 4:05
  4. “Gray Walls” – 4:21
  5. “You Dream Too Much” – 4:06
  6. “Why Must I Plead” – 4:58
  7. “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” – 4:43
  8. “Backlash Love Affair” – 4:49
  9. “Mystery Wind” – 4:35
  10. “Don’t Sit On My Jimmy Shands” – 4:26
  11. “Keep Your Distance” – 4:11
  12. “Mother Knows Best” – 4:59
  13. “God Loves A Drunk” – 4:43
  14. “Psycho Street” – 4:28



Knocking around the Province

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2015 at 11:06 pm

Summers here and the long awaited road trips have begun and if I ever find my way out of all this Construction going on in Cambridge my Tolerant wife and I will be heading out this summer for a little R&R and some wonderful photo excursions.  But that is not what this story is about, it is about something I have noticed as we drive up and  around the highways and the backroads of this province we call home, not just the beauty of our province but what each town and hamlet has to say along the way.  Some areas you just marvel at the beauty and the simple life that the residents must live. They all proudly have their city slogans displayed and I noticed that many of them extolled the virtues of the area. Chesley had “The Nicest Town around” and who was I to argue with them, Powasson stated that they were “The Heart of Good Living” and having been to Powasson many times in the past I had to agree with that one. Burks Falls is “A Growing Community nestled within Paradise” and looking around the area it was hard not to agree with the paradise part, North Bay of course advertises themselves as “The Gateway to the North” and of course that is totally correct especially if you have ever been to Wawa and mention North Bay being in Northern Ontario, they will correct you on that one. Parry Sound is of Course ‘The Heart of Ontario”, West Nipissing has “The lifestyle you deserve” and The Sturgeon Falls area is “What a Vacation should be”. Chatham  is #Classic Car Capitol Of Canada” Kingston is “The Limestone City” Owen Sound calls themselves “Chicago Of The North” or “Little Liverpool” I guess they have a bit of a complex, but it is still cool.  Sudbury is the “Nickel Capitol” while Thunder Bay is “Canada’s Gateway To The West”. ” The Gateway to Muskoka” is Gravenhurst while Bracebridge Is “The Heart Of Muskoka”, Cochrane is “Wonderfully Unexpected” and Kenora is “North America’s Premier Boating Destination”. And having been to all these places I heartily agree with them all. And  it goes on and on and that brings me to what we have here in Cambridge “It’s all right here”, not exactly poetic is it but I guess it beats what we could have had, ” The Rivers only smell on the hot days” ,”We are not part of Kitchener” or my favourite “Home of The  Roundabouts” but maybe I’m Jaded, because I love the north and look forward to my yearly trips on our highways to the towns up there and whether it is going to Bala, Bracebridge ,NorthBay  or Sturgeon Falls I always feel a little more freedom when I am there no matter what the signs say.

The Last Free Summer

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Summer is a wonderful time when you are young, but like many things in life the FREE part of summer eventually ends and my Grandson Ben has hit that spot. He has finished grade 9 and hopefully is enjoying what is his Last Free Summer before the awful time hits when his parents make him get a part-time job to help pay for the goodies that he wants, because I speak from experience  that once he hits grade 10 everything changes.   My last free summer was 1972 and for me was a summer that shaped the many years I had ahead.  There was a lot of music released that summer, Albums like Ziggy Stardust by Bowie, Living in the Past By Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper’s Schools Out and Leon Russell’s Carney kept me close to the record player. But there were a few good books as well that summer to read such as Watership Down, The Odessa File, The Stepford Wifes and Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas among others. There were Movies to see like The Godfather, Deliverance, and Fritz the cat just to name a few.  And the summer of 72 had other events to keep track of, like,In June The Watergate scandal broke wide open, In July Jane Fonda toured North Vietnam causing all types of havoc in the states and In August The Summer Olympics were held in West Berlin which led to the Munich Massacre. And In Canada we were all gearing up for the great hockey Showdown between Canada and the Soviet Union, which made for a very interesting summer.  In 1972  I saw a movie that led me to discover an Actor that had died many years before and to this day I am still a fan of his work. That movie was by Woody Allen and was called Play It Again Sam, it was about A neurotic film critic trying  to get over his wife leaving him by dating again, with the help of a married couple and his alter ego, Humphrey Bogart. It starred Woody Allen, Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts with Jerry Lacy playing Bogie and as was the case with most of Woody’s early films a laugh out riot. But after watching the film I wound up going to the Library and taking out a book written by his ex-wife Lauren Bacall and became fascinated by his story, unfortunately at the time there was no VHS or DVD’s so I had to stay up late some nights to catch the few flicks that were on TV then. But as technology developed so did the back catalog of his films and I have seen almost all of them now, but in the summer of ’72 even I could imagine what I wanted to and Bogie was my sidekick, even if no one else could see him.  So to Ben and all the others enjoy your summer and discover new things, make the Summer Count.

Of Grumpy Old Men

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2015 at 6:14 pm

I don’t want to be known as that crabby old man of Hespeler,after all, there are plenty of us on this side of the 401 but I do have some legitimate things to get off my chest and it is time for the Rest of Cambridge to read about them.

I hate some of our new vocabulary in this city after all printing lol is one thing, but I actually heard someone laugh at a joke someone made and say lol, really? Is it too hard to say that was funny you actually have to shorten it when speaking?   And what ever happened to say you plan to spend time with your family, these days some people say Famjam instead of family, what the heck is that?  Can you not just say I am going to spend the weekend with my family, too complicated for you? Sheesh .  And whatever happened to Husband and Wife? Now it seems people are calling each other Wifey-Poo and Hubby Poo, I guess they do not want to get too personal with each other in public, I don’t know about you readers but I prefer my wife to call me the Complaint Receptacle over Hubby Poo.  I often wonder about people that say they are so happy they could die, I am no English scholar, but I am very certain that those two statements don’t belong together, but then again saying everything is awesome is just as irritating.  And guys, do you have to say bro to each other? Unless he is actually your brother I find it another useless saying just like saying 24/7 or someone saying I am over it, because if you have to say you are over it, most likely you are not.  And one I hear constantly is NOM NOM NOM, which I guess means someone is Hungry, just ask for food you morons, it is easier and gets better results around me, and when did the word Phat start meaning good and what the heck is Throwing Shade?  Apparently, it is the new way of describing when you have an attitude about something, hell if I know. There are hundreds of words that I don’t even understand, words like Turnt which is supposedly an expression of being excited, how about Yasss, any idea what that means? Well I will tell you, it means yes…can you not just say yes?  But I am not going to let my generation off easy either as there are some sayings from our past that in retrospect are just as weird, A feather in his cap….o.k., if any guy in my neighborhood growing up put a feather in his cap we would have beat him up.  As I stated I don’t want to sound too miserable so off I go into the sunset to grumble and complain some more, heck I am sounding like Walter Matthau again, and speaking of the grumpy old man, Mark Gibson ,I am still waiting for that Walter Matthau T-Shirt you promised me.





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