Singer/songwriter and poetic improviser Gordon Downie
is one of Canada's most treasured artists. Beginning in 1983, he fronted Kingston, Ontario's beloved trad rock band the Tragically Hip
, and Downie
's lush and charming lyrical stories have garnered the Hip
many fans across the globe, particularly in pockets of New York and Michigan. Downie
, however, is the leading force -- not only as a vocalist, but also as an artist. The clarity in his songwriting exudes a passion, a poignant sensibility for the most simplistic and the most complex.
Aside from his band duties, the new millennium saw Downie
making time for a solo career. He worked alongside Skydiggers' Josh Finlayson
and ex-Odds bass player Steven Drake
, to complete and produce his first solo effort, 2001's Coke Machine Glow
. Coke Machine Glow
, which was also the title of his first book of poetry and prose, was recorded in Gas Station Studios and featured additional help from Barenaked Ladies
' Kevin Hearn
, bandmate Paul Langlois
, and Don Kerr
. A second solo effort, Battle of the Nudes appeared two summers later.