1 min

Throw some dirt on me

This ain’t your ma and pa’s country music, but this sure ain’t new country either.

Young BC artist Rae Spoon is taking the old and making it new on his first full-length CD, Throw Some Dirt on Me. But he’s not making it Shania Twain pop. Instead, this trans guy is digging in his roots and staying there.

Rae’s influences are obvious. In “Chicken Factory Spoon” he sings, “I’ll be a nobody if I can’t be Woody Guthrie,” and then hints at the master by changing Guthrie’s classic line, “If you ain’t got the do re mi,” to “If you ain’t got an SUV.”

It is this simple kind of twist, taking an old school folk sound and adding contemporary references that make Spoon’s country folk new again.

So dust off your cowboy hat and start chewing on some heartbreak, politics and straw – this is truly cowboy-folk. Spoon’s fingerpicking on the five-string banjo takes the reins and guides the listener through a landscape of double bass, mandolins, acoustic and pedal steel guitar, squeeze box and sweet, sweet wavering vocals. The heartfelt “Box Car” is a memorable track (I’m a sucker for the saw), but the fiddle-driven hoe-down track “Oil Rigs (No Rest)” is the real show-stealer.

Rae’s image is James Dean-esque. There he is, in a cowboy hat and white shirt, with a guitar on the steps of a church or perched on the edge of a pick-up truck, as if he were visiting us from another time. And with lines like, “My plough broke down an hour ago” and “In my tin shack” it is obvious that Rae is a storyteller songwriter who has done his genre homework.

This album will charm you, and I have a sneaking suspicion he will too.