Ik hou van dat wat spookachtige, beklemmende sfeertje in deze song - een bewerking van een folk traditional - en de video die er een perfecte match mee vormt. Aan de stem moet ik toch even wennen, maar het samenspel van banjo, gitaar, viool, viola, bas en percussie is ronduit schitterend. Alweer een Canadees? Tja, ik kan maar blijven herhalen dat de 'beste' americana daar te vinden is.
Mike Tod verschijnt op 13 april 2023.
Canadian ethnomusicologist and musician Mike Tod might just be the most identifiable bridge carrying our musical past into current day and beyond. With conviction and candor, he sings well-worn traditionals, researches their roots, and shares them in a fashion that feels authentically of another time, while still firmly planted in the present. He forges old-time songs into historical epics, conjuring visions of western portraits and weathered landscapes, immersing listeners in traditional songs recorded with modern clarity and true grit.
Today, Tod shared the second track from his Mike Tod LP, “The Coo Coo.” “It’s one hell of an eerie, haunting song when you really pay attention to the lyrics,” says Tod of the song that’s been recorded by everyone from Clarence Ashley—on the Anthology of American Folk Music—to (Tod’s personal favorite) Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. “There’s themes of addiction, potential homelessness, and obsession over an individual. Almost creepy, but for sure scary.” The driving and moody string band instrumentation aids in painting Tod’s version of “The Coo Coo” in a dark light. “I’d say our version shows that this song is more like a horror movie than anything else,” says Tod.
Accompanying the release of “The Coo Coo” is a beautifully animated music video from Molly Little. The sepia-tinged, high contrast animation follows the lyrics of this classic song closely, matching the mood and dynamics scene by scene.
Tod’s previous work with old-time duo Godfrey & Tod earned praise from Exclaim, who declared it “ought to be required listening for Albertans, and comes highly recommended for the rest of us.” As an ethnomusicologist, Tod’s The Folk podcast series on the lesser-known histories of folk and old-time music in Canada was called “an unlikely hit” by the Calgary Herald. It’s said that to know where we’re going we must know where we’ve been. Mike Tod reminds us that the past, present, and future are inexorably linked in song.