By Angie Valente
SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE-JOURNAL
When Canrock royalty Sir Ian Blurton asks for show coverage, you gosh darn get on the phone and interview. Spanning decades, musician and producer Blurton has become a fixture on the Canadian music scene (Change of Heart, Blurtonia, C’mon) and he’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.
“It’s great to be back on the road,” says Blurton from North Bay, Ont., the first stop of the tour. “I like touring Canada in the summer. I’ve been playing Thunder Bay since 1986. The city holds good memories.”
Blurton’s latest offering to our nation’s sonic landscape is Future Now’s Signals Through the Flames, taking 2 1/2 years of meticulous creation from start to finish.
Blurton describes it as having, “Elements of ’70s early metal. It’s a rock ’n’ roll love letter to the past and future. There are lots of great bands around still doing amazing stuff who aren’t just doing it for the charts, but doing it for the art. I worked really hard on this and I’m super stoked that amazing musicians played on it.”
When asked about the female musical presence his bands have always possessed, Blurton doesn’t hesitate to credit the softer side.
“They had me in their bands first of all,” he said. “I grew up in a household of three women so the female entity is a big part of my life. They’re all people who are amazing at what they do, and we write together well. That’s what it comes down to. I generally play a heavier style of rock, so it’s nice to have the feminine side to it.”
Blurton is literally always wearing a hat, whether it’s producer, guitarist, singer, songwriter, DJ and then some. But which does he identify with the most?
“In my head I’m a guitar player, 100 per cent,” he said. “My favourite thing is playing leads. On this record I feel like I tried to be more of a singer.”
Blurton has assembled some of the best players in all the land. Thundering, sought-after bad-ass bassist Anna Ruddick (City and Colour) with her groovy and infectious bass lines will hypnotize you to no end, while watching drummer Glenn Milchem (Blue Rodeo) is like cardio for your ears. Guitarist Aaron Goldstein is a solid player who owns his craft in the humblest of ways.
Each player has been hand-selected to bring the most sonically deadly live show Toronto (and Western Canada) has ever seen. Let it rip.
Future Now play the Apollo tonight with openers Glenn Milchem, Espanola, and Steve Suttie. Doors open at 8 p.m. and there is a $10 cover charge.
— Angie Valente is a freelance photo-journalist and live music promoter in Thunder Bay.