I’ve long thought that Shotgun Jimmie would make a terrific host for a Mr. Rogers-/Fred Penner’s Place-style kids program. By that, I mean the idea popped into my head last year and I just remembered it now; I don’t devote a lot of time to pretending I’m a TV exec.
But really, as the friendliest and most earnest figure in Canadian indie rock, he’s the perfect candidate for the gig, especially having gotten a roundabout thumbs-up from Mr. Penner himself during a Regina Folk Festival workshop where they collaborated. (The compliment went, I believe, “Shotgun Jimmie, you are a strange man, but I like you.”)
That’s not to say his music is juvenile. In fact, his latest album, Everything Everything, is his most mature and fully fleshed out to date. It’s the result of his holing up in a Manitoba cabin to focus entirely on the record—a move that in the wrong hands could’ve turned into semi-interesting bearded blubbering, but in Jimmie’s, helped create an expansive yet intimate album, captured on everything from jankety tape machines to handheld voice recorders and featuring friends like Julie Doiron. And it’s not just fun and games—most of it is, sure, like his explosive ode to his peers in Ladyhawk, but songs like “I Will Climb Mountains” are downright dirge-like.
Shotgun Jimmie (in his one-man, guitar/kick drum/snare incarnation) is playing tonight, Thursday, May 9 at the Artful Dodger, along with Black Drink Crier.