By Steve Newton
When I interviewed Shaun Verreault for the Georgia Straight back in January my article wound up focusing on how the Vancouver guitar great had developed his “Tri-Slide” style of playing, where he uses three slides at once on a lap steel guitar.
I was blown away by his short, Tri-Slide reimaginings of bits of songs by everyone from Eric Johson (“Cliffs of Dover”) to Crowded House (“Don’t Dream It’s Over”) to Van Halen (“Hot for Teacher”).
At one point in our communication I kinda jokingly requested that he do a version of my favourite song, Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”, as a personal favour.
I wasn’t sure that he would actually come through–guitarists of his stature and ability are busy bees, for starters–but in the back of my mind I thought he might, partly because he seemed like the type of creative musician who enjoyed a challenge.
But mostly because he just seemed like a good guy who likes making people happy.
Short story even shorter, last night I saw on Facebook that he’d gone and taken his lap steel with the Robert Randolph autograph and worked up a 70-second homage to Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser’s 1976 ode to the afterlife.
I almost lost my shit when I saw that he’d paid tribute to the tune’s famously fever-inducing cowbell by clicking two slides together.
Man, this job of mine just keeps getting better and better.