The Ballad Of Stompin’ Tom

I missed the All-Star game. I’m sure that makes me a bad baseball fan according to some rule or other, but if put in my position you’d do the same thing…at least you would if you’re not one to be eluded by sanity.

I haven’t been the best at writing about all of the concerts I’ve been to, but I’m not letting this one slip bye since along with entertaining everybody else and writing about morons and fools, this place is partly about entertaining me and helping me remember awesome things. And in my world, getting to see Stompin’ Tom Connors counts as more than awesome.

Yes, I got to see Stompin’ Tom!

Me, Carin, my brother and my mom all headed down to Hamilton Place to check out the show last night, and we weren’t disappointed. Tom is 75 now, but other than a couple of times when he admitted he was getting a bit tired, you’d never know it. I can think of two spots where he forgot what verse he was on and sang it twice, but I’m not holding that against him. Christ, I did that when I was in my 20’s, and I didn’t have to remember nearly as many songs.

Along with favourites like The Hockey Song, Sudbury Saturday Night, Margo’s Cargo, Big Joe Mufferaw, Bud The Spud and about a million others, he took some time out to play some stuff by Hank Snow and Wilf Carter, which was a nice, unexpected touch. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Stompin’ Tom yodel. I’ve heard it on recordings, but live it was almost worth the ticket price by itself. He even played The Green Green Grass of Home, much to the delight of the nice but at times overly talkative ladies sitting next to us who yelled for it after every single song from the beginning of the show until the second half when he finally heard them or decided to listen, I’m not sure which.

And speaking of where we were sitting, Dear Ticketbastard: Selling people seats next to each other is good, but you might want to warn those people about the wall thing between them. We managed to juggle things around since we were up in the roomier seats so that Trixie would have more space, but seriously now.

Ok, back to the show.

He had a pretty good band backing him up, including fiddler Billy MacInnis who did a sweet version of Mockingbird that I wish I could find. Instead, we’ll go with this, which isn’t bad either.

The main opening attraction was Mark LaForme, who I wasn’t familiar with. He was fine, but mostly sounded like every singer in every country bar you’ve ever been to. That is until he won major cool points by busting out a bluegrass version of The Shape I’m In and then followed it up with a cover of Ma jolie Louise. I can’t find his versions or anything he’s ever done on YouTube for that matter, so we’ll go with live versions of the originals.

Am I getting cheaper as I age, or is the price of concert merch getting much, much steeper? $35 for a T-shirt or 2 for $50? A CD for $25 or 3 for $50? That wasn’t normal sounding in our world, but the line in the lobby was huuuuuuuuuuge after the show and during the break, so what do we know?

Possible highway robbery at the souvenir stand aside, I’d gladly go back and see him again if the chance comes up. But if it doesn’t, it’s another thing I’m happy to be able to say I got to do once.

And before I forget, here’s the song I took the post title from.

Also, hey Brad. We were there!

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