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Old 07-17-2010, 07:11 AM   #1
Jesse Joe
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Default Stompin Tom Connors finds artist to carry torch

http://timestranscript.canadaeast.co...rticle/1138009


Stompin' Tom finds artist to carry torch

Published Saturday July 17th, 2010
Canadian legend call Tim Hus a rare kindred spirit

By Nick Patch
THE CANADIAN PRESS



TORONTO - Stompin' Tom Connors is still tirelessly burning bright, but he thinks he's found a young artist to carry the torch for him when the time does come to put down his guitar and take off his trademark black hat.





THE CANADIAN PRESS

Stompin' Tom Connors


The country-folk legend praises Calgary singer Tim Hus as a rare kindred spirit who carries Connors' appreciation for storytelling grounded in a specifically Canadian perspective.

"I can't say enough about Tim," Connors said in a telephone interview from his home in Halton Hills, Ont.

"What he's doing that I don't see a lot of them doing is writing songs about Canada, and things that he knows about, and singing them with heart.

"So he looks like the guy that I wouldn't mind passing the torch on to. As far as I'm concerned, because of what he's doing and the heart that he's putting into it, he's on the top of the heap for me."

Connors will take Hus with him when he launches his upcoming summer tour in Thunder Bay, Ont., on July 31. The tour will take him through Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C., wrapping up after 13 dates on Sept. 4.

This trip will take Connors to the areas he missed on last year's East Coast tour, and he'll mark his first sojourn to B.C. in six years.
But while the 74-year-old tries to tour every year, he's not making any promises yet about next year.

"Well, when you're my age ... when the bones get a little brittle, I just wait for every spring and say to myself: Well, do I feel like going this year or don't I?'" Connors said.

"I make my determination usually in the spring of the year."
He is planning on beginning work on the followup to 2008's "Ballad of Stompin' Tom" this fall, with the aim of releasing something new around next summer.

And he hopes to gather inspiration during the long, winding drives through the Prairies and West Coast that await him in the coming months.
Connors' routine on tour is to drive alone from city to city in his SUV. He drives in silence -

"I don't have any radios or anything on to distract me," he explains - and keeps a notebook stashed at his side to jot down any song ideas that occur to him about the towns he's passing through.

In fact, not much has changed for Connors over the years in the way he writes songs, or in the songs he writes.

"I still have my comical songs, and I have my sad songs, and I have my workplace songs, my history songs," he said.

"I'm still doing the same thing, although, I'm not concentrated on one thing. The world is my inspiration, at least the country is, and anything that goes on in it.

"So, y'know, my songs are not concentrated to just the young and just the dance hall," he adds, chuckling softly.

But the year began with some frustration for Connors, who campaigned to have his revised version of "The Olympic Song" included in some capacity during the Vancouver Games.

Connors had penned the original tune and submitted it to the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, but was turned down. So he refreshed the song with Vancouver-specific lyrics and resubmitted it prior to this year's Olympics, only to be turned down again.

"It's a lot of politics going on," he said.

"So I was disappointed that we couldn't make an agreement. But that's the way things go."

Meanwhile, Connors declines to offer much of a hint to concert-goers eager for a scoop on his planned setlists on his upcoming tour.

"I've got so damn many songs," he said with a laugh.

"I've got 260 some songs recorded, all about Canada. So there's no way in one night i can sing that many songs.

"So the best thing I can do is just sing what I feel the people want to hear. And whatever area I'm in, I like to throw in a few songs about that area that I've written in the past."
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