Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

Review and photos – Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010

– text by eugene osudar/photos by Merrit Rawsthorne

a (perfect) setting
for

a singer poet

a country western
hip,hop,rap;ping!
singer poet like

Ridley Bent

McNally’s book store

(Terry E
calls Ridley Bent
The Quentin Tarantino
of Country Music)

(Terry’s right!)

Ridley reads
interesting
books

constantly reading
feeding his imagination
and his song writing
word/shaping
skills

cleverly beat boxing
words and sounds
tongue
ripping syllables
and killer images
and intense
stories
like hard boiled
private dicks
on a murder mystery
case
with a trouble
hot dame
ruby red lips
silky hips
circa
1952

(and yes, Ridley Bent is a pseudonym)

Just before
his lovely ballad
Cry
he asks
the gathered store employees
if they have Ross MacDonald books

(you know, the Lew Archer series)
(and yes, Ross MacDonald is a pseudonym)

on CD,
for the road trips
the long tour drives
between gigs

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

back stepping
a few years ago
i was at some Canadian
Country Music Awards
at the MTS Center

in Winnipeg

several hours of pure
torture,
every act, every song
sounded the same

country radio
po(o)p diarrhea

meanwhile

here and now
in a bookstore

Ridley Bent
and one of the finest
guitarists in My Winnipeg
Chris Dunn

performed 11
stand apart
soul grit
and
pure of heart
country
western
songs

they began the set
talking about
Merle Haggard and George Jones
Willie Nelson

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

you know
the great ones
Johnny Cash
Kris K
Waylon Jennings
Hank Williams

the outlaws
the ones who stood
and still stand
apart

standing their ground
and dont get
pushed around!

Ridley Bent‘s songs
are the hard fast true
songs of a country
western
outlaw
poet

in the best tradition
of the trailblazers!

not dumbed down
robotic manuf(r)actured
song factory formula
garbage.

these are timeless
song
stories

in 63 minutes

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

glam slam
hip hop
country rap
gorgeous country ballads
swing country
the songs that make me
move and dance
whenever he
and Chris and better

the full band play

as Ridley reminds
us, he’ll have a big Winnipeg
CD release show at The Park Theatre,
for his new outlaw stories,

Rabbit On My Wheel,

October 8th and 9th
with the full band
Chris Dunn on electric!
and special guests!
along with
the first of a three EP
set for sale too,
Ridley Bent‘s Blood Trilogy,
which may not be sold
in stores!

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

crooked and loaded
i can’t turn my back on the bottle
suicidewinder
buckles and boots
yukon belle
nine inch nails
cry
arlington
burnin’ down barns
lonesome town
heartland heartbreak

every song
a hot lead riff or two
from Chris Dunn
acoustic
smoking
fingers

Grant Siemons and Chris Dunn
the two genius
guitarists in Winnipeg

think Bob Stinson
of The Replacements
and then

you imagine it
you hear it
and you shiver
you tingle

that kind of crazy genius.

and if you’ve never
heard Bob Stinson

go now, Reader.
discover.

this time,
the first time,
Ridley had Chris
playing
on the new album.
Beautiful.

Ridley asks for questions,

and i ask him
about the word/poem
riffing
he and Dustin Bentall and Cameron Latimer
used to do in Vancouver

if he’s found those kind
of hip hop beat poets

not yet.

he’s looking for a circle
of poets

in My Winnipeg

to create
in the moment

in the now

in the L Cohen
the Tarantino cinema
Hammett fiction
of Now.

to understand
the genius
of the spilling
thrilling
words and images
stories

listen to

Suicidewinder

it’s Bogart
Johnny Cash
The Clash
Bob Marley
Mike Diamond
Mad Max
cinema
of the now

and when
you can
see

go now
hurry

Ridley Bent
Chris Dunn
McNally’s Book Store.
July 23rd.

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

Ridley Bent and Chris Dunn at McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, July 23 2010. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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