Friday, July 3, 2009

We Call Him Mr. Ness

Winnipeg is pretty well known at this point as a hotbed of artistic creativity. Visual-arts wise we've got folks like Marcel Dzama, and for film-making does it get any better than Guy Maddin? Music-making is no exception but the focus has always been on the rock music coming out of this city - be it back in the day with the Guess Who or more recently with the Weakerthans. There are actually vibrant scenes in a number of genres including a VERY healthy hip-hop scene but nationally Peg City hip-hop seems to fly under the radar. I'm hoping that a release like the one featured in today's post will go some way to rectifying that situation.

It's been six years since the release of Guy I'm From Here, an album he recorded under the litigious bulls-eye moniker Satchel Paige (sometimes written as Satchill Paige) and while fending off lawsuits took some time, most of the intervening period was spent honing the stories the now Nestor Wynrush wanted to tell.

Trinnipeg !78 is an intensely personal and compelling album from an artist who is laid-back and fairly joyous in his day-to-day life (where most of us call him "Ness") but delves into somber, serious thought on the album. He also delved into somber, serious thought about Trinnipeg !78 in an interview I had with him on my show, Thank God It's Free Range which I'll post at the end of this entry.

While Ness has complete ownership of all the lyrics on Trinnipeg !78, he enlisted the help of several friends to create beats and produce cuts. The production roster includes mcenroe, soso, Kutdown, members of Grand Analog, and DJ Brace (Juno winner, DMC champ and former UMFM show host!), so it's no surprise that the depth of the lyrics is mirrored in the depth of production. What is surprising is that with so many different contributors, the album remains a cohesive effort. That's likely because regardless of who he is rhyming over, Ness is thoroughly in command of the track. If you like to be moved both literally and figuratively by your music, do yourself a favour and seek out Trinnipeg !78.

Check out "Winnipeg South Blues" below:

And here's the interview from Thank God It's Free Range, which closes with "Metro Radio" featuring DJ Brace.

Don't forget to check out the Nestor Wynrush Myspace page and I'd also recommend this article my man Birdapres (host of Cast Iron Frying Pan) did for UGSMAG.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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