Volume 91, Issue 95
Friday, March 27, 1998
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Greg Keelor's personal Rodeo
"HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GURU?" The always wondeful Greg Keelor, seen here lost in meditation, will be coming to The Embassy tomorrow night without Blue Rodeo, for an intimate gig with some very special guests.
By Jamie Lynn
Hearing Blue Rodeo's longtime lead vocalist Greg Keelor refer to his 1997 solo album, Gone, as "a brilliant failure" is quite shocking. But perhaps that's what it was. The album did take a surprisingly soft departure from his more signature Blue Rodeo sound, but it remains a gloriously haunting recording which is as beautifully bleak as it is powerfully subtle.
Still, without many radio-friendly singles to launch the album commercially, this 'hidden gem' seemed to quietly disappear soon after its winter release. Nonetheless, Keelor was enormously pleased with the album, which featured backing vocals from former Crash Vegas vocalist, Michelle McAdorey and current Juno winning-sensation Sara McLachlan.
"It's a beautiful record and recording it was sort of a 'rock fantasy.' I was playing with some of my favourite people, my heroes really and they were all sitting around playing my music. It was a dream."
As his records often reflect, Keelor is a rather profound and spiritual individual. He speaks with genuine enthusiasm about many things, including an upcoming trip to India where he plans to bring along only a nylon string guitar. He made a similar trip to India two years ago where he did most of the writing for Gone.
"Ever since I was a kid, India was this spot that offered me an answer to the predicament of existence. From a lot of the books I'd read or movies I saw, India seemed to hold the answer. But when I finally got there it wasn't anything like I'd dreamed of and it really blew my mind. There are no telephones, I don't know anybody there and they don't know me. But, that's kind of what I like about it."
Keelor found India an inspiring place not only for his writing, but also for his life. He found his experiences there both liberating and enlightening as he spent much of his day absorbing some of the land's spiritual traditions.
"I'd spend three hours a day meditating with the Guru and my heart would be wide open. So when I went back to my room I would sing and it would be so beautiful. And I wasn't singing for anybody to hear me, but it actually reminded me of why it is that I sing," he reflects. "[The meditation] would take me to a place without any thought or reflection or perspective just being. I find that Gone is a lot like that. It was really more of a meditation than a radio record."
When it comes to composing his songs, Keelor describes it as "one of the sweetest moments" in his life. Still, he claims to have little to do with the conscious process. "I really like the songs that are coming these days, but I don't think it has much to do with me. I'm just the grumpy fuck who writes them down."
So after just recently completing an extensive but enjoyable North American tour with Blue Rodeo, Keelor has decided to treat fans to some solo work with a few select shows in Southern Ontario. While he still draws tremendous inspiration from playing with his good friends in Blue Rodeo, he finds playing this music special as well.
"These are all my little poems and songs, so they are very nice places to visit and they remind me of where these songs came from. I suppose if Blue Rodeo is the office, well than this is more my living room."
Greg Keelor will be bringing his live show to The Embassy tomorrow night and The Gazette wants to make sure you get a ticket. We'll be giving away two pairs of tickets today at 2 p.m.. Get'em before they're GONE!
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