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FYI

Five Questions With… Spencer Burton

The Ontario roots songsmith discusses his new track Further, his relationship with new label boss Dallas Green, the impact of parenthood, and adapting to life in the pandemic.

Five Questions With… Spencer Burton

By Jason Schneider

Like his former Attack In Black bandmate Daniel Romano, Spencer Burton has evolved from his punk roots into an engaging roots-based singer/songwriter over the past few years, releasing two acclaimed solo collections, along with an album of songs for kids.


He's now returned with the single Further, the first release as part of a new deal with Still Records, Dallas Green (City And Colour)'s imprint under the Dine Alone Records banner. The song conveys Burton's concern over the state of the world, and how its recovery won't happen until we all start taking better care of each other, and the planet.

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It's a view that native of southern Ontario has long tried to promote through both his music and personal lifestyle. After years of city living in between tours, Burton was feeling drained and uninspired.

Feeling the need to plant roots upon becoming a father, Burton opted for a quieter existence in the rural surroundings of the Niagara Region. The impact was immediate, leading Burton to develop an even closer relationship to the environment, and embrace the freedom that solitude brings.

Further is available on all digital platforms via orcd.co/spencerburtonfurther

Tell me about writing Further and is it indicative of other new music you're working on?

This song was written in early 2019 and recorded during the summer of that year. I’ve sat on it for… well, until now. It’s a song that I’ve been told means something different to everyone who hears it. To me, it’s a song about change and how we all need it. We’re leaving our young with a fairly broken world, one where money and power mean everything. I’ve seen it first hand, even on the smallest level. Basically, it’s a song about how the ones who could change our world may not be given the chance.

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You're now signed to Dallas Green's label. How has your relationship with him developed over the years?

First comes love, then comes marriage. Who knows what’s next? 

Your last album was for kids, The Mountain Man. How has becoming a father changed your outlook on music in general?

Having children has made me realize that everything we do is for them, or should be. And not just my children, but all children—the ones who are going to be here when we’re gone. Music is no exception.

How have you adapted to engaging with your audience over the past few months during the pandemic?

I find it to be a lot more personal. I’ve done the live streams and find myself simply wanting to chat with whoever is watching instead of playing songs. I’m also getting really good at Zoom and Skype. I feel young again!

What's your mindset looking ahead to next year and the prospect of hopefully touring again?

I’ll tour again, one day, when there’s no risk of anyone being uncomfortable about health and safety. However, even then, I’m sure I’ll make the audience uncomfortable somehow.

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Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Joey Martinez

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Rock

Neil Young's New Album 'FU##IN' UP' Has Live Recordings from Intimate Toronto Venue The Rivoli

FU##IN' UP, the new album by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, features performances of songs from his 1990 album Ragged Glory, recorded live at Toronto's Rivoli, seemingly during a much-rumoured secret show last November. He'll bring his upcoming tour to Toronto's Budweiser Stage in May, 2024.

Canadian icon Neil Young is adding to his immense discography with a new release this spring, a live album titled FU##IN UP'. The album, featuring Young's longtime band Crazy Horse, consists of nine live recordings from 2023 and is set for a limited edition two-LP release this April, in partnership with Record Store Day. According to the album's credits as noticed by Exclaim!, it was recorded at Toronto's Rivoli club, meaning it likely captures Neil Young & Crazy Horse's secret show at the Rivoli last November.

At that show — supposedly a private birthday party for Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss — according to reports that generated a lot of buzz when they appeared online days later, Young performed most of his 1990 album Ragged Glory. FU##IN' UP features primarily songs from Ragged Glory, with new titles taken from lyric fragments. ("Over and Over," shared as a single, is now "Broken Circle.") The album features performances from Crazy Horse members Billy Talbot on bass, Ralph Molina on drums, and Nils Lofgren and Micah Nelson on guitar and piano, and Reiss is credited as a presenter.

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