Mike Carr continues to document Canadian music with his second book Rock My World Canada: Canadian Blues Reference & Collectors Guide — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Featuring more than 700 artists and nearly 2,800 album covers, the book covers Canadian blues artists from Leon Redbone, Colin James and Downchild to Kevin Mark, Jack DeKeyzer and Monkeyjunk, along with hundreds of others — plus new additions to the guide that include lists of blues festivals, societies, and record labels.
“It’s all about the music,” the author, archivist and self-starting music historian considers. “I started this project as my personal commitment to help support Canadian musicians. No matter what genre you favour, we have a vast amount of talent in this country. The goal is for readers to discover something new.
“Just like a song can trigger certain memories, I found album covers could do the same. I remember when I was younger, I could hardly contain my excitement when, after purchasing a new album, I could admire the artwork, review the liner notes, and check out the band credits. In this digital age, though, it appears album covers have become a lost art.” The Rock My World Canada mixed-media project seeks to remedy that, and then some. “It’s like going to a record store, without going to a record store!”
Carr’s first foray into the project was in 2013 and, in 2018, he published the series’ debut: The Canadian Alternative & Indie Reference & Collectors Guide. That tome featured 900-plus acts and upwards of 3,000 album covers — running the gamut from the household names to the unknown soldiers of Canadian music.
“I’m sure there are hundreds of acts that I missed, so please no hate mail,” he quips. “The series is designed as a compilation of the history of each musician or band as shown by the studio album releases and a short biography. The qualifier for each artist to be listed in the book is they had to have recorded at least one studio album or EP — so no splits, live, or compilations, unless deemed historically significant.
“I do not profess to be a writer, so let’s be clear about that,” Carr laughs. “But like most Canadians, I am a music lover and, although I’ve never been a musician, I always felt I missed out on something in my life by not being an active participant in the music community. This is my contribution.”