GMTP: SJT sings DCC

by "Skip" Jack Tanner

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- "Skip" Jack Tanner sings Driftin' Cal Cunningham -

I met Cal in the winter of '91. We were both waiting for a freight somewhere outside of Winnipeg proper. I was immediately drawn to his sincere insight which was remarkably positive considering his lifestyle. Cal was a perpetual drifter, a long-time junky and as one would expect, a societal outcast, always creeping on the outskirts, always a shadow. Yet Cal was a tour-de-force of a songwriter and would effortlessly construct a striking and diverse snapshot of humanity in his verses. Over the course of a few unforgettable months Cal and I roamed the western countryside of Canada, trading stories and songs and forming a life-long bond. By the summer we had gone our separate ways; me out to Lab-City in pursuit of dock work and Cal down to Mexico in pursuit of a lost love. Over the years I heard his name whispered in certain circles, even tried to write him a few times, but Cal wasn't particularly one for keeping-in-touch. His music though, his words, just never left me.

Earlier this year I was playing a benefit for some rig-workers out in McMurray. After my set I heard a rancher by the name of Wilson mention a drifter who'd kicked the bucket while crashing out in his barn. Wilson said that the guy, Cal was his name, had been shooting-up at night and bailing hay during the day. One morning he didn't show up for call and they found him stone-stiff and all blue, splayed out with the drip still in his arm. Slowly a wave of heartbreak washed over me but I was utterly amazed. The coincidence wasn't lost on Wilson either and as I passed him a drink he produced a small brown leather-bound notebook from his pocket. “This is all he had on him. Figure since the two of you knew each other, what better person to take this than you.”

These are a couple of the songs contained in that notebook. A sample of the genius that was Driftin' Cal Cunningham. Rest in peace old friend.

- “Skip” Jack Tanner

credits

released February 15, 2016

- Because of Me -
Written by: Driftin' Cal Cunningham
Vocals, Piano, Drums: "Skip" Jack Tanner
Guitar, Bass: JSGL
Guitar: Noel Yousie

- No Holds Barred -
Written by: Driftin' Cal Cunningham
Vocals, Bass: "Skip" Jack Tanner
Guitar: JSGL
Guitar, Drums: Noel Yousie

Produced: GMT / JSGL
Photography/Design: Christine Love Hewitt

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