The Tragically Hip (check out their stuff here) have long held iconic status in the Canadian music scene. The group is composed of the legendary lead singer Gord Downie, and also includes the amazing guitarists Paul Langlois and Rob Baker, the excellent bassist Gord Sinclair, and the incredible drummer Johnny Fay. For many, they are the ultimate Canadian rock band. Since 1984 they have released 14 studio albums and two live albums, 1 EP, and 54 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 in Canada, and they have 14 Juno Awards. Truly, they are a national treasure.
This weekend, Canada is celebrating The Hip as their concert from their hometown Kingston is being broadcast nationwide. The CBC has identified over 300 viewing parties, (which doesn’t include the numerous private gatherings.) This is taking place as people come together to yes listen to great music, but also to pay tribute to one of our greatest poets and songwriters in Canadian history. While the country celebrates the band, attention has particularly been focused on Gord Downie due to his health.
If you are not familiar with the band, or the man, I would strongly suggest you check them out. With writing skills that rival the greatest our country has ever produced, Gord Downie belongs amongst names such as Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, & Leonard Cohen. Led by a musician and poet, the Hip have long produced works that you can listen to for incredible guitar licks and driving beats – and come away from with a greater understanding of the human experience in Canada.
Hoopla – Tragically Hip has numerous Tragically Hip titles available online digitally, including:
Man Machine Poem, Yer Favourites, Fully Completely, Day for Night, Trouble at the Henhouse and more. If you follow our database page (by clicking on this line) you can access some great free music.
From the same database page, Freegal also has songs you can download for free. One I would definitely suggest is the Detroit City themed cover of the Gordon Lightfoot classic Black Day in July about the race riots that rocked the city. It’s not amongst their most well known hits, but it’s a chilling piece of music – and based on real events (which you can say about many of their works.)
One thing I would definitely suggest to anyone listening to The Hip is to pay close attention to their lyrics. With songs about everything from the 100th meridian, to David Milgaard, to watching hockey at the height of the cold war – the band has long had an amazing talent for brilliantly written songs with strong musical backing.
We also have Coke Machine Machine Glow, which is both the title of a solo album released by Gord Downie and a book of poetry by the man.
We are lucky to have been able to witness this amazing group, and call them our own. I’m sure I won’t be the only person watching the national CBC broadcast and saying thank you to the legendary Mr. Downie.