It might be two years since the release of his acclaimed record Transistor Sister but Shotgun Jimmie, performing at Sackville’s Legion Friday night, has been anything but idle. Aside from the promotional duties he undertook to promote the Polaris Prize long-listed record, Jimmie also contributed lead guitar to Weakerthans’ John K. Samson’s album Provincial and toured with Samson in the all-star Provincial band.
You’d figure that all that socializing would have been led Jimmie to having plenty of help on his new record Everything Everything. But rather than capitalize on the friendships and relationships formed over the last two years, Jimmie took himself to Manitoba to make Everything Everything on his own. If you were worried that this isolation was going to somehow dampen Shotgun Jimmie’s spirits, you had best think again.
“I followed my heart to the Prairies to make this record,” Jimmie says. “I had a few months free from touring and thought that I spend the time on a self-directed residency. The wilds of Manitoba seemed like the perfect environment for the project. I wanted to be isolated so that I was free from distraction but also wanted to be out on the land.”
Living a nomadic lifestyle is nothing new to Shotgun Jimmie. He is seemingly at home on the road, a true home away from home in one sense of the word.
Touring is so engrained in Jimmie’s lifestyle, it has inevitably found its way into his lyrics, just not in the cliché, Bon Jovi “Wanted Dead Or Alive” kind of way, even though we would love to think about Jimmie having rocked a million faces.
In his song “Standing In A Line,” Jimmie sings “On with the showbiz, if you like sleeping on couches”. A common misconception about life “on the road” is that it is all high-end hotels and caviar.
“One of things that I took away from working with John was a realization that touring can in fact be a sustainable way of life if you want it to be,” he says. “I think that most of the things that are over romanticized about life on the road are the things that aren’t really sustainable.
“Touring with John and his band was a dream come true for me. It exceeded all of my expectations and was absolutely inspiring to me. And for the most part, Everything Everything is quite a positive, upbeat kind of record. I’m sure there are some direct connections between the two. I guess you could say that this record is a bit of a celebration; my touring adventures with John deserved a celebration.”
Article published in the April 12, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript