Home Read Classic Album Review: Ron Sexsmith | Blue Boy

Classic Album Review: Ron Sexsmith | Blue Boy

The troubadour shows off his rootsy side with the help of producer Steve Earle.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Looks like Ron Sexsmith is finally coming out of his funk. And his shell.

After years as the poster boy for tortured artists and sensitive singer-songwriters everywhere, reluctant Ron has turned into rootsy Ron for his fifth full-length Blue Boy. Produced by no less an unlikely collaborator than Steve Earle, this 14-song offering eschews the orchestrated woodwinds and strings of 1999’s Whereabouts for a loose, live and lighthearted approach. This Song gets things rolling to a jaunty swing beat, a twangy guitar and some peppy horns. That’s just for starters — other tracks find Sexsmith dipping his musical toe into the waters of funky blues-hop, Blue Rodeoish country-pop, fingerpicked guitar-folk and even ska. Whatever the style, Sexsmith’s unsurpassed songwriting abilities remain undiminished. Every melody is instantly hummable, every lyric a perfect, touching little line of poetry — even when he’s singing about domestic violence, broken hearts and born losers. Yes, Ron’s still a blue boy at heart. At least now he knows how to have a little fun every now and then.