ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 12, 2000
By Steve Newton
In the booklet that comes with David Wilcox’s new CD, Rhythm of Love, there are 34 inch-high pictures of the Toronto rocker striking various wacky poses with his trusty wood-grain Telecaster. See Dave stand on one leg and make a goofy face. See him hold his guitar under his chin like a violin. See him lie flat on his back and play the guitar with his bald head. The guy’s a nut! And he’s nutty enough to strike every one of those poses at some point during his show at the Commodore on Thursday (October 19).
“Oh, absolutely!” enthuses the wild man from a Winnipeg tour stop. “Well, not the one where I’m playing with my feet. That one’s a little contrived.”
Rhythm of Love was produced by esteemed Canadian guitarist, singer, and songwriter Colin Linden, who quit school to join Wilcox’s band many years ago. The CD features Linden on guitar, mandolin, and backing vocals, as well as an appearance by him as the “gnarly talking guy” on “I Need a Vice”. The new album carries on Wilcox’s tried-and-true tradition of kooky lyrics, psychotic singing, and wild, over-the-top guitar-playing.
“I think it sounds like me,” stresses Wilcox, “as I perceive my own work. And I think it’s also the best I’ve ever been recorded, because Colin’s such a wonderful artist in terms of understanding how mikes and equipment work—and being able to bring that to the artist. He’s not just a technician; he combines that with the ability to create an atmosphere, so that really worked for me.”
Although Wilcox is best known for his comically bent boogie-blues workouts, he throws in a surprise on Rhythm of Love with “Three Women”, a banjo-style guitar compilation of three old fiddle tunes: “Handsome Molly”, “Long Tall Sally Ann”, and “Sally Gooding”. Wilcox promises it will make an appearance at the Commodore, as will past hits like “Hypnotizing Boogie”, “Riverboat Fantasy”, “Laying Pipe”, “Do the Bearcat”, and “Bad Apple”.
Before signing off to play a sold-out show at a Winnipeg club called Boogie Nights (great movie, awful bar name), the 51-year-old rocker points out that there’s a Webcast of his band available at primeticket.net, under the “new shows” banner. Mind you, he doesn’t want people skipping the Commodore show just because they’ve seen him on their computers.
“It’s much better live,” he claims. “It’s like a kiss. It’s only so good over the Internet.”