For the past couple of years I’ve been listening primarily to musicians from the Prairies. Fortunately Manitoba and Saskatchewan have produced an incredible number of great bands and solo artists, so getting to know them was more fun than work. Now that the festival is over, I’ve been able to spend some time checking out albums from my ever-growing list of musicians-not-from-the-Prairies.
One of my recent favourites is Royal Wood. I was inspired to pick up an acoustic guitar after listening to lots of singer-songwriters, and then Royal comes along and I start thinking that I should give piano a shot again. Unfortunately I’m equally incompetent on both instruments, which gets me thinking I should just resign myself to being a drummer…but I digress.
Royal has all the tools to be a big star – terrific songwriting, a distinctive voice and sound, and he looks like he could be Don Draper’s brother. He writes pretty ballads and piano-pop songs with strong hooks. Acting Crazy (It’s a Breakdown) from A Good Enough Day shows a bit less restraint than most of his songs, and I’d love to hear more of that side of him.