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Classic Album Reviews: The Paupers | Dig Deep + Domenic Troiano | The Toronto Sound

Get a double dose of classic Canadian rock that's well worth a second glance.

This came out in 1999 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Maybe it’s part of our so-called cultural identity crisis, but we Canucks have trouble preserving our pop heritage — unlike countless comeback kids in the U.S., Canadian rockers vanish from the charts and our memories without a trace.

Toronto’s Paupers are a perfect example. They made it from Yorkville to the Monterey Pop Festival — then bad luck and bad acid trips sabotaged their career after just two albums of psychedelic-tinged ’60s rock, most of which was dug up for Dig Deep. Then again, maybe they’re not the perfect example — while they run the gamut from Beatles-style pop and garage nuggets to folky balladry, some excursions into hippie-dippy hilarity (“We are the magic people / Do you know what’s in your mind?”) are embarrassingly Spinal Tapish.

Guitar legend Domenic Troiano, on the other hand, is the real McCoy. The man who upgraded everyone from The James Gang to The Guess Who with his fluid, crisp axework steps into the spotlight with the reissue of two ’70s solo LPs on The Toronto Sound. Although the title is something of a misnomer — it was all recorded in L.A. — Troiano’s tasty, jazzy pop knows no boundaries, suggesting a jam between The Band, Little Feat and Steely Dan. Now this is Canadian rock worth remembering.