Ryan Cook & Sunny Acres
Live at New Glasgow Jubilee – 2009
To celebrate Canada Day, I’m sharing this unreleased concert from the 2009 New Glasgow Jubilee Festival. It was my first and last time performing at this festival, the concert was headlined by Joel Plaskett, Wintersleep, and Jason Blaine.
I was performing here with the Sunny Acres band, a cast featuring Brad “Magic” Reid on electric guitar, fiddle, and saxophone, Bob McDonald on pedal-steel guitar, George Barkhouse on Bass fiddle, and Jordi Comstock on drums. In the opening song How Drunk I Get, you will hear this mini-swing orchestra really having a great time! Bob McDonald had not rehearsed with us, he’s so good he just showed up and played. Even his mistakes sound good. His Father Len McDonald played Steel Guitar on the CBC’s television show Sing along Jubilee in the 1960’s. Listening back now I smile, thinking all of the work that went into these early shows. We were heavily influenced by the style of Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadors. At this time in my life I was having a lot of fun with country music, and was not entirely sure where any of it was heading.
This lineup was a precursor to the 4-piece Sunny Acres lineup feat. Brian Baker that lasted about 2 years. The only full length studio album I had released at this point was Hot Times but I was beginning to perform songs I had written for Peaks & Valleys including The Boy I never Knew how to be. I have never expressed it publicly but this song was written from the perspective of a male cross-dresser, trying to come to terms with his sexuality. It’s funny to me that only one person ever picked up on that and asked me about it. I do like the song a lot but it never translated well without a full band, so I’ve rarely performed it live outside of this recording.
Photos by Scott Blackburn.