Who doesn’t know Bachman-Turner Overdrive or The Guess Who? Randy Bachman’s career rocketed to the moon in the 60s and 70s, with hits like “American Woman,” “You ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” and “Takin’ Care of Business.”
But that was then, and this is now. Despite his success, Bachman was determined to move forward musically, and in order to do so, he looked backward and revisited the glorious days of the ‘60s British blues boom. Using the amplified blues‐rock of Cream, Led Zeppelin and The Who as his blueprints, Bachman and a newly formed power trio envisioned his 2015 album, Heavy Blues, as an explosive, raw reinterpretation of that music with a distorted, modern edge.
“I’ve done blues solos and ‘American Woman’ and things like that, different songs, but I’ve never really done a whole blues album,” said Bachman. “So, things just evolved.”
Determined to step out of his comfort zone, Bachman made another difficult decision, going with an outside producer rather than handling those chores himself. He chose famed rock producer Kevin Shirley, who pushed Bachman beyond his own high standards.
In addition, a slew of guitar greats, such as Neil Young, Joe Bonamassa, Peter Frampton, Robert Randolph, Scott Holiday of Rival Sons, Luke Doucet, and the late Jeff Healey all contribute their own unique guitar licks to various tracks, which Bachman wrote.
“They’ve all been heroes, and they’ve all been friends,” said Bachman.
Lyrically, Heavy Blues also reveals a different side of Bachman. Listening to old blues songs inspired him to write about subjects often addressed in the genre.
“They’re all personal, because I wrote them about my life experiences in the last five or six years,” said Bachman. “I changed my marriage. I’ve changed my band. I’ve changed where I live. I got a record deal and changed my music, so the whole thing is about change and karmic circles.”
But Bachman didn’t stop with that record. According to an article in The Toronto Sun from last summer, we should be seeing another Bachman album come out shortly, though this one is a tribute album to an as-yet-unnamed artist.
But if you can’t wait that long, you can tune in to CBC Radio One or CBC Radio 2 to catch his show, Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap, where he shares with his listeners his favourite songs and stories from life on the road.
Randy Bachman plays in Kitchener on Thursday, March 8th @ 8PM. Several of his shows in this tour have already sold out, so buy your tickets now so you don’t miss this chance to see one of Canada’s most iconic musicians.