Downtown Exit move from the page to the online stage with their timely cover of Neil Young’s environmental lament After The Gold Rush — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Until now, Downtown Exit have existed solely as the fictional 1970s band led by Levi Jaxon, the protagonist best-selling author Glenn Dixon created for his recent novel Bootleg Stardust. Also a musician and songwriter, Dixon and his real-life Calgary band The Barrel Dogs have brought the Exit to life by recording seven songs as a soundtrack for the book — including this faithful cover of Young’s classic.
“It’s a haunting and beautiful song with a message that, even across the years, still rings true today,” Dixon says. “ ‘Look at Mother Nature on the run,’ goes the chorus, an urgent call to take care of our burning planet.”
In his real-life band, Dixon is a guitarist and vocalist. The other members of Downtown Exit / Barrel Dogs are bassist-vocalist Richard Maruk, drummer Darren Stinson, keyboard player Michael Dangelmaier and lead vocalist Jim Sarantis. With three different vocalists and songwriters in the group, Dixon was confident they would have the versatility to create a wide range of music for the fictional band found within the pages of Bootleg Stardust.
Released in April via Simon and Schuster, the novel follows young guitarist Jaxon’s pitfall-laden rise to fame in 1974 while his band is on a wild, chaotic European tour. When it came time to record and mix the soundtrack, Dixon chose a very authentic means: The Rolling Stones Mobile, used to capture Exile on Main Street and Sticky Fingers, along with iconic albums by Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. The mobile studio is now housed at the National Music Centre in Calgary, where Dixon and his band mates worked with the audio manager Jason Tawkin to engineer the recordings; the songs were then mastered at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London.