Sometimes I end my program on CFUV with a song that BJ, the host of the show after mine calls hurting music. It’s passionate and painful, and Willie Thrasher’s blend of country and folk on his 1981 release Spirit Child fits the description. “Land of darkness, it’s a land of many legends” Thrasher sings on “Forefathers,” and throughout the album he tells stories of residential schools, loss of language, and Inuit in Canada’s north. The picture is anything but bleak, though. “Oh Johnny, you’ll be home someday, back in the wild” Thrasher promises in “Eskimo Named Johnny.” Surging drums drive “Wolves Don’t Live By The Rules” and “Inuit Chant,” while “Silent Inuit” and “Old Man Carver” have a more melancholy tempo. Thrasher’s voice is reminiscent of an Inuit Townes Van Zandt, and his songs carry the same honesty. The instrumentation is always tight, and “Shingle Point Whale Camp” ends with some fingerpicking not unlike something Jim Croce would play. Much like Townes and Croce illuminated life on the road in American cities; Willie Thrasher uses folk music to describe the lives of Inuit in Canada.
– Carson Redden (Host of The Border, Sunday 6:00-7:00pm)