"I'm going down to the river. I'm going down to the river. I'm walking on the rocks in the water. I'm going down to the river." This song exudes the freedom of rock and roll. The video might make you think they are singing about fur traders discovering a new land but that was the beauty of Thrush Hermit. You never really knew when they were serious. The band was comprised of Joel Plaskett, Robert Benvie, Ian McGettigan and Cliff Gibb. They were one of a few east coast bands that suddenly found themselves in the spotlight, thanks to the success of Sloan. Both Thrush Hermit and Sloan were from Halifax and the Hermit would sign with Sloan's label, Murderecords, in 1994 and release their first EP. Clayton Park was their last full length release as a band in 1998. I often think of this album as their "Born To Run". I remember watching Springsteen talking about that album and how there was a re-occurring theme of breaking free. There are at least 3 or 4 tracks on this album that fall into that category. The beauty of Thrush Hermit is in the way they channel their classic rock influences through their music. Simple, guitar driven melody. A common trait of many bands from the east coast of Canada but Thrush Hermit were among the best at it. Joel Plaskett would adopt that same formula on many of his songs as a solo artist. The band reunited briefly this year to play a few shows and a retrospective box set was also released. Guitarist, Robert Benvie, plays in the band, the Dears. In 2008, a tribute album entitled, Songs for the Gang, was released showcasing 18 Hermit songs performed by other artists. Unfortunately, Clayton Park, isn't widely available. At the time of this blog, Amazon had copies selling between $13 and $98. You can watch the video for the song, The Day We Hit The Coast, on You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcqYwsFJl4k). Thanks for reading and enjoy!