I SCORED a Master Grail list item!!
Surprise, everyone! I am happy to announce that on one of my initial CD forages, I found an album that I have been searching for a LONG TIME: Andrew Cash’s Time and Place!
I would be shocked if anyone knows anything about this very talented Canadian recording artist outside of Canada. But, Andrew Cash was all over the radio in 1988-1994 in Ontario, even in my Northern town (thanks, Can-con!). He was also on Much Music quite a bit. His music made a lasting impression on me in the dark recesses of my mind.
My hunt for this album started as an exploration for a source of an earworm I had picking my brains back in the early 2000s. Back then, it was a conversation with a friend of mine about 80s music. In the era of Napster, I searched and found a lot of 80s music, and feverishly burned CDs to add to my piddly 80s CD music collection. Our conversation turned to obscure music we heard on the radio from back in the day, when we spent an evening using each other like a human Shazam, singing each other excerpts of songs that were swirling in our heads in the hopes the other would recognize it and say, “Oh, that song is X by Y”.
I sang, “I-go o-ver my sho-houlder…hee- hum you sa-a-a-aid…” Ha, I didn’t give her much to go on…and there weren’t any lyric websites like what we have today. Needless to say, she couldn’t get to the bottom of the earworm.
It was randomly one day around 2010, when a radio station played the source of my years-long earworm: Smile Me Down by Andrew Cash. Riiight! I thought. I remember that name! Not Johnny Cash, not Roseanne Cash, but Andrew Cash (no relation!). I took to the Goggles searching for Andrew Cash music anything – videos, info…anything! It was scant. A Torontonian, Andrew Cash played in a band called Etranger with fellow musician Charlie Angus in 1980 before pursuing a Solo career. Time and Place was released in 1988, which had some success in Canada. Cash later released Boomtown (another one I am searching for on CD. I do have the cassette format version, thanks to a care package courtesy of Aaron from keepsmealive – read about that here), as well as Hi in 1993. After that, Cash sort of fell off my radar. But, as it turns out, he has been quite busy, continuing to perform, even forming the Cash Brothers with Skydiggers’ alum (and his sibling), Peter Cash, as well as having a stint in Federal politics (as did Charlie Angus).
Andrew Cash has been holding his musical property close, not allowing iTunes and Google Play to sell most of his music, nor having a Vevo account on YouTube. Thankfully, some rogue YouTubers have posted some grainy Much Music videos from back in the day. A few years ago, I wound up happily paying for the .MP3 of the song, Time and Place, via his website; a transaction he thanked me for personally via email. The desire for the full physical album never abated, so when Aaron from keepsmealive asked people to crowdsource their music wishlists via the Master Grail List, I added Andrew Cash’s first two albums. I am also a bit of a hunter on the cheap, so I could search for wanted items via used CD sites and find what I’m looking for…or I could search and find what I want inexpensively. In my case, I found Time and Place for $1.00 at a junk shop in Whitby. As Bop puts it: BAMMMM! GRAIL GOAL ACHIEVED!
Time and Place is a rock album with acoustic elements and thoughtful lyrics. The listener is drawn into upbeat ditties with pensive messages that touch on life: the insecurities of ageing, mental health, a mother’s grief… There is a simplicity and earthy feel to the album – guitar, bass, viola, harmonica and drums, you feel right at home listening to this album.
The first hasty strums of an electric guitar begin the first song on the album (and source of my earworm) Smile Me Down; an effective starter. The chorus goes a little differently than what I remember:
“I-go o-ver my sho-houlder…hee- hum you sa-a-a-aid…” is actually,
“I look over my shoulder, hearing you say we’re older now.” Oh well, I almost remembered!
The other track I am familiar with, Time and Place, is one I would unabashedly sing along to in the car at 13, while my sister drove us around, embarrassed I was singing along to some old “fogey”. At a time when INXS and George Michael were burning up the charts and competing for my attention, this song was one that had a memorable melody and was just lovely to sing to. I know Cash was being ignored by my contemporaries, but I was paying attention. And now, as an old fogey myself (ha!) I am elated to add Andrew Cash’s Time and Place to my music collection, and was not the least bit disappointed in it.
Listen for yourself:
(Smile Me Down at 0:00; Time and Place at 9:50)