Hey Blue Rodeo Faithful,
Our second Track Focus Tuesday features a personal favourite and in fact the very first video that True Rodeo made, in the midst of the pandemic, Blue Rodeo's #1 hit, Til I Am Myself Again. But what most people don't know is that Til I Am Myself Again came out of a very weighty period for Blue Rodeo. We'll get to that in a bit.
Released as the first single from Casino in November of 1990, TIAMA reached number 1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in March 1991....
The Opening Grabs You
With Greg playing the jangly Rickenbacker 12 string guitar opening notes, followed by the band dropping in behind, we're pulled into a classic Blue Rodeo mid temple toe tapper. And then we're hit with Jim's sonorous tenor voice, the signature sound of Jim and Greg's harmonies, and some great, energetic playing by the entire band, punctuated by the RIckenbacker guitar solo and the happy shots and mini solo of Bob Wiseman's keyboard in the song's outro. It's like sunshine is oozing from every note!
And as infectious as it is in the official video above, the live version has a special energy that invariably gets people dancing in the aisles at every Blue Rodeo show! Check out Colin Cripps' virtual note for note guitar solo, while adding a bit of his own flare...Damn!
According to Wikipedia (I know, I know...) "An uncredited review of Casino in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel compared the song's sound to that of The Byrds, noting the use of twelve-string guitar in creating such a sound. The review also said that the song had a 'majestic melody' and that both it and What Am I Doing Here off the same album were 'musical triumphs over adversity with classic hooks.'"
The Darkness of the Lyrics Behind the Sunshine of the Music
At the opening of the video below, Jim, with Greg at his side, talks about how Til I Am Myself Again came about...
Jim: "Til I Am Myself Again would have definitely been written in that period of time where we started to feel very stretched...just too many nights of putting your head down and of having no real idea of where you were, waking up and wondering, did you have to get up, did you have to get on the bus, and specifically it was written with someone's alcoholism in mind. And that idea that, if anyone's ever known anybody addicted, if they have come to the awareness that they wanna get over their addiction, that's one step, but they usually say 'I can't do it right now because I have this tension in my life, or I have this stuff that's stressing me out to I have to, uh, I will do it in the new year, I'll do it then.' So that's sort of what Til I Am Myself is all about."
TR does TIAMA
As mentioned, True Rodeo's very first video was of Til I AM Myself Again. That's Mimico Bill playing my then Schecter Stargazer 12 guitar, and Terry Donnelly on keys channelling Bob Wiseman, with Vito Alvaro singing his heart out on Jim's lead vocals.
Close your eyes and listen to our video back to back with the original and judge for yourself, we're all about honouring Blue Rodeo. Then come out this year and catch a True Rodeo show near you when you're jonesing for a bit of Blue Rodeo music. Our gigs are listed on the home page of truerodeo.com, with detailed listings and web links on the Upcoming Shows page. We'd love to see you.
-Dave Brinton, True Rodeo
Sources: Youtube, Wikipedia, and others as linked.