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Ron Sexsmith rides again into Barrie next weekend

“I've made enough records by now and so I pretty much know how to do it or at least I think I know what the songs need”
Ron Sexsmith album

It is, perhaps, an appropriate image, given that it’s Easter time: a bunch of associates (disciples?) grouped around a table, clad in light-coloured robes, feeding this one soul in the middle, dressed in red.

It’s not something out of Da Vinci, but Ron Sexsmith is at the centre of this image, for the cover to his album The Last Rider, which he is visiting places far and wide — including Barrie — to promote.

Sexsmith rides into Mady Centre on Sunday, Apr. 23, with singer Lori Cullen opening for him.

Ron’s 13th studio album, is his own handiwork, with help from co-producer Don Kerr, after working with a bevy of some of the industry’s brightest names -- Daniel Lanois, Mitchell Froom, Tchad Blake, Ray Kennedy, Martin Terefe, Bob Rock and Jim Scott. Certainly, what Sexsmith drew from their expertise has stood him in good stead for his occupancy of the producer’s chair.

“I've made enough records by now and so I pretty much know how to do it or at least I think I know what the songs need,” he says.

Ah, but, setting up that Last Supper-like album cover…

“Yes, that was fun. I was expecting it to look dumb and we'd end up scrapping the idea. I've never had a concept for an album cover before (except maybe 2001’s Blue Boy) so perhaps it was meant to be.

“Anyway, I just brought about seven bathrobes with me and we all just picked one, it took about five minutes.”

The Last Ride, under Ron’s leadership, contains 15 songs, most of them covering around three minutes each. Perhaps the most personal song is Man at the Gate (1913), inspired by a postcard Sexsmith bought with a photograph taken a century ago in front of Toronto’s Trinity-Bellwoods park, “conveying the message that although styles and attitudes change, we all remain connected through our shared humanity.”

Readers may recall Ron touching down in Barrie last fall for the arts awards. He says a lot has gone under the bridge in the six or so months since then.

“Well, I finished a novel that's coming out in September, so that's a pleasant memory Also, my wife and I bought a nice house in Perth County.”

Ron Sexsmith and the Last Rider tour, hits Mady Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Dunlop Street West, Sunday, Ap. 23, at 8 p.m., with opening act Lori Cullen. For more, click here.

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Glenn Wilkins

About the Author: Glenn Wilkins

Glenn Wilkins, in a 30-year media career, has written for print and electronic media, as well as for TV and radio. Glenn has two books under his belt, profiling Canadian actors on Broadway and NHL coaches.
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