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The Freedom of Music: Making Change with the Rival Sons

August 24th, 2014


One likes to believe in the freedom of music.
Rush – Spirit of Radio.

In February 2013 I was taking my wife for a weekend away in Kingston, Ontario. sidebar-7In preparation, I checked what’s on for that week and noticed the Rival Sons playing at a local bar for a $20 cover. Unfortunately, they were playing Kingston mid-week, before we got there, and were playing in my part of the world on the weekend when we would be in Kingston. I didn’t end up seeing them, but I called a friend and told him to make sure he did. “One day, you’ll brag to people that you saw these guys in a bar for $20,” I told him. “They’re that good.”

I’ve been doing Freedom of Music for eight-and-a-half years now, first as This week on my iPod” in February 2008, then in it’s current formation as The Freedom of Music in September of that year. Always it was the same though, essays on music, with some reviews thrown in for good measure.

In 2011 I got sent an album to review. This was new. In three years writing about music, nobody in the business itself seemed to notice. But that summer I started to receive notices, this artist has that video you may want to share, that sort of thing. Occasionally I’d get a song to review. No soap, I said to myself. Send me an album, I give you your review, but I’m not reviewing a YouTube video or a song. Then I got the email I was looking for, a complete album for download. An album by a new band that I had never heard of, but sounded interesting. An album I would quickly love: The Rival SonsPressure & Time.

Since then I get more and better offers to review music, including A-list material. Recently I had pre-reviews of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Deluxe Edition remaster, Kiss 40 and Bob Marley’s 40th anniversary re-release. That’s pretty significant music to be reviewed on my little blog.

This week a change came, a change that was a long time coming, but had it’s genesis in that first Rival Sons review. This blog was originally intended to be primarily political, with social commentary thrown in. But it was also meant to have some other aspects, music, the arts, poetry &tc. meshed in with the political commentary. As time as gone, politics and social commentary has gone out of At Home in Hespeler, the arts side increased, specifically music. It was, is, time to make the change to music/arts blog.

Sitting here three years later listening to Great Western Valkyrie, the latest, unbelievably good, Rival Sons album, I’m wondering what form these changes will take. Will I really have time for two or three album reviews a week, a book review, a Friday video post, Saturday Fluffernutter and this Sunday feature? Possibly not, but I do know, Freedom of Music is going nowhere. It will however, change. No more reviews, they will go in the main body of the blog on weekdays. The Freedom of Music will be saved for essays on music, and joined with another rarely done feature, Fluffernutter at the Movies (I might need new names for all this stuff), which will, I think, take the occasionally Sunday morning place of Freedom of Music.

Meanwhile, I’m off to Toronto for a day where I will almost certainly pick up Great Western Valkyrie,. It’s too good not to have on Vinyl and I can’t wait to hear songs like Electric Man, Good Things and Open My Eyes coming from my turntable instead of my earbuds. If you’re looking for some music to go with your Sunday morning coffee, may I recommend Rachael Ann Weiss, for whom I was sent three songs this week (not enough for a full review in my opinion, but enough to recommend you check her out) and thought she was great.

The Freedom of Music, This Week on my I-Pod

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