Bent Roads Tavern
‘Rainstorm’
Snow Monster Records

Bent Roads Tavern are a Canadian folk collective formed in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia (also my alma mater) and now based in Calgary.  Fronted Collen Middleton, the band plays a distinctive Canadiana and, in the best tradition of Canadian folk music, covers a lot of ground, from fiery punked up folk to roots music and everything in between.  In this they follow in the well-established tradition of pioneers like Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn, and Spirit of the West.

They’ve been around a long time, since 2001, and are shifting into high gear now, anticipating new music soon, they’ve decided to catch listeners up on their history, and are in the process of a series of releases, The Legend of Bent Roads Tavern, Vols. 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 came together earlier this year, and now Vol 5 has arrived (on 6 November), and ‘Rainstorm’ is the single from it.

On the whole, ‘Rainstorm’ is a pretty straight-forward Canadiana track, as Jim Riecken sings about being caught in a rainstorm, except that it’s not.  The lyrics examine what it’s like to stand up for yourself, your rights, to dream, and even just to live in this world:

Cause how many times
Have I tried to climb back to the eye
Only to be thrown away again
And we both know
That the words blow
Harder than even anything
That nature could afford to show
I never listen to it anymore
I’m bigger than this little rainstorm.

I find myself kind of staggered by: ‘And we both know/That the words blow/ Harder than anything.’  There’s some wisdom and experience in those lines.