Archive for July 26th, 2010



From the outset of this show in Kapuskasing Ontario Tom Cochrane and Red Rider proved you can make a concert accessbile without losing integrity. As much weight as Cochrane’s charisma carries to the stage it’s ultimatley the songs and chops that get you through.

Fortunatley for the pumped up audience Cochrane, guitarist/lap steel/piano player Ken Greer, bassist Jeff Jones and drummer Gary Craig delivered a set big on dynamics.

Sturdy versions of Victory Day and The Untouchable One dedicated to wife Kathleene as well as the crowd singalong of Good Times with Cochrane on acoustic guitar and ace guitarist Ken Greer on lap steel working up close and personal set up the crowd for the huge adulation and love of his massive hits.

It should be said right here that the in the pocket and intensive drumming of Gary Craig pushed the band to new heights. Cochrane while still pulling the crowd into his own frontman space fed off of the playing of Jones, Greer and Craig for the entire set.

Big League, Boy Inside A Man and a ripping versions of No Regrets and Red Rider’s Human Race offered up honest no frills rock n roll.

On Life is a Highway and the encore of Lunatic Fringe I noticed middle aged housewives and 20 year old fans pumped and rocking.  A lot of this has to do with Cochrane’s heartland no pretense atttiude. This is an artist who loves what he does.

Unless the band was set to play for 3 hours they did not have time to dip into crowd faves like I Wish You Well, Stonecutter’s Arms, Ocean Blue or Citizen Cain to name just four.

If Cochrane is to follow in the footsteps of his fellow heartland singer songwriters like Bruce Springsteen, and John Mellencamp he should come out with “new material’ within  the next year or so.  His impressive and last release No Stranger is now nearly four years old.

Cochrane is an artist who has plenty left  in the tank. This was an impressive set by any standard.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran published music journalist, radio show host and musician.

Check out his latest solo cd here

Also the hard driving Blues Rock with the band here

July 2010