Wednesday, September 18, 2002

New Ron Sexsmith - "Cobblestone Runway" due out Sept 24

The following is lifted from ChartAttack (by the way, in hindsight, wasn't "Blue Boy" a major disappointment?)

Ron Sexsmith Trying To Be Like Dylan

Celebrating the release of his sixth album Cobblestone Runway on
September 24, Toronto-based singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith is full of
anticipation. One of his most "contemporary albums" to date (this
coming from a dude championed by Elton John and covered by Rod
Stewart, both bludgeoned by the brick of Contemporary), Cobblestone
Runway finds Sexsmith even more contemplative than usual.

"I think this is a pretty mellow record," whispers the boy-faced
giant. "I was curious to see what a different producer might do with
this album and, overall, I think he was able to bring me more up to
date. I'm not a producer and I don't make retro albums, but you
think `Wow, I've made a hit record!' Then you listen to what's out
there and you're like, `Gee, I guess I didn't.'"

That "gee, I guess I didn't" has plagued Sexsmith since day one. Even
with credits such as those previously mentioned and a more rock-
influenced fifth album, Blue Boy, produced by Steve Earle, the man
has never been able to break into the commercial realm. He admits
that after almost two decades it kinda gets to ya.

"It's been bothering me that I've never been able to break radio.
Maybe this (album) won't either, but when I heard how it was turning
out, I thought it might be my best shot at having some kind of…
action. I've gone over with the maverick DJs, but never anything on
mainstream radio and that's where the general public learns about
music. They don't go looking for it. They're in their car listening
to E-Z radio and they don't really know what's out there."

Of course this isn't to say that Sexsmith doesn't enjoy his street-
level credibility. In fact, it's what keeps him going. The flood of
letters and emails help him acknowledge that his work is accepted.
But still, he admits that it would be nice to expand outside of cult
status sometime.

"There's a whole population out there that doesn't know I exist. I'm
prepared to never get past that though. I've had a pretty good
career. It's my sixth album, I tour, I play. That's great."

In keeping with his tradition of creating albums as a document,
Cobblestone Runway is a very simple affair, in that for all of his
talk about breaking through to the mainstream, Sexsmith admits that
its creation wasn't about building the Next Big Thing. Where many
artists whittle away years and thousands of dollars to create their
Piece De Resistance, Sexsmith is more grounded about the whole
affair. It's about giving the fans something to learn the words with…
nothing more.

"I can never see myself spending a year in the studio. I'm not
interested in that. An album is how you sound on that particular day.
It's not about spending time getting the definitive version. I'll
probably sing them better down the road. Some night in Pittsburgh
I'll sing the best version and no recorders will be around. You're
just trying to get this down on the tape the best way you can so
people can hear how they're supposed to go and move on. Dylan never
second-guessed himself. He made his albums and moved on. That's how
I'm trying to be."

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