Gordie, Ben and Nina roped their horses out front of the Tattoo Rock Parlour downtown Toronto Saturday night and sauntered into the bar shakin off the dust, lookin for something to wet the whistle. The bartender instinctively passed Gordie a double Wild Turkey on the rocks and looked to Big Ben who held up two fingers: “Two sasparillas and make it snappy”…
As they sidled up to the bar, Ben handed Nina her drink and the three surveyed their surroundings with a deafening silence. This bar they’re gonna turn upside down. Few know it. Few would believe it. But everybody’s gonna know after tonight what this Texas threesome can do with the right guns n ammo.
I guess before Clint Eastwood steps in and starts shootin, I should step back into reality and let ya’ll know what really happened. Gordie and Ben brought out an arsenal of weapons, plugged em into some of the loudest cabs Traynor has to offer and blew the doors off the Tattoo that night.
Still in support of last year’s “A Cup of Cold Poison”, the threesome known as Grady pleasured the crowd with one after the other kick ass southern metal blues tunes. Such a cool combination of a bunch of music genres caught up in one big tumbleweed of loudness. They pulled out all kinds of Grady and added a few spoons full of Big Sugar to the delight of a packed house.
For me, Big Sugar and Grady has always been all about the sweet vocal and guitar work of Gordie “Grady” Johnson, still one of my all time favourite performers out there. I don’t even care what he’s playing. He could sing “Happy Birthday” to a guy and it would be the most kick ass “Happy Birthday” you’ve ever heard. At one point they kicked into Tragically Hip’s “Boots or Hearts” bringing much respect from the gathering at hand.
One of the highlights for me at any show involving Gordie Johnson is the aforementioned arsenal of guitars he brings along with him. It appears as though he’s retired my favourite guitar, the white doubleneck SG backed with the maple leaf, but he’s pulling out guitars I’ve never seen before. Old classic woodgrain Gibsons and nothing but Gibsons.
Of course after warming up on the black Gordie Johnson model SG, he went straight into a beautiful Ace Frehley lookin sunburst Les Paul with custom pickups, a killer lookin rare beast of an old dark brown woodgrain RD Standard, an older woodgrain Flying V, his black doubleneck SG, and an old woodgrain SG. He’s always a photographer’s dream to shoot as the scenery and sound keeps changing song after song. Big Ben stuck with his old faithful “The Ripper” through the whole set.
I’ve written about Gordie Johnson on many occasions, photographed him even more and I’ll never get tired of watching one of Canada’s greatest musicians to blow the doors off a venue… and he does it every time.