Cameron’s Corner, “Winter Wheat ” shines through

Cameron Campbell, Staff Writer

The front-runner of the Winnipeg music scene is finally back with his new solo record “Winter Wheat.” Samson, a native to Winnipeg released his second solo album on Oct. 21 this year.

Samson has been in two bands prior to going solo, including popular groups Propagandhi and The Weakerthans. Both were highly influential bands, but The Weakerthans have become one of Winnipeg’s staple bands.

After four albums, The Weakerthans quietly dismembered, but Samson still continued to write. Now, his second solo album, “Winter Wheat” is out and includes three of the four other band members from The Weakerthans.

One of Samson’s best talents is writing beautiful soft songs and giving them a haunted feeling. The lyrics are what reminisces in his songs, as they makes you want more after every chorus.

I think the lyrics on this album can bring anybody to tears. Especially knowing some back story. There are three songs that I believe the best songs on the album are “Vampire Alberta Blues,” “17th Street Treatment Centre” and “Virtute at Rest.”

“Vampire Alberta Blues” is one of the harder driving songs off the album. Samson said in an interview with CBS music that he based this song off of Neil Young’s song “Vampire Blues.”

When you listen to the sounds and lyrics you can directly hear the influence. Samson’s song tells the story of a man working in the oil business. The lyrics show us that humans are like vampires, sucking the earth dry of its once rich oils.

Samson’s lyrics also share similarities with Young’s lyrics. At the end of “Vampire Alberta Blues” Samson sings “Good times are coming.”

Young, during the middle of his song “Vampire Blues” sings “Good times are coming, I hear it everywhere I go.”

The next two songs I’d like to mention go hand in hand together. They are a part of two characters Samson created when he was in The Weakerthans. A cat named Virtute and her owner who is nameless.

The first time we are introduced to these two is during a Weakerthans song called “Plea from a Cat Named Virtute” This song shows a cat trying to bring her owner up and out of a deep depression.

Next, we hear “Virtute the Cat Explains her Departure.” In this song we find out that Virtute has run away and is on her last limbs and about to die, and she can remember the sound her owner made for her.

Now, we get to the Winter Wheat songs, “17th Street Treament Centre” and “Virtute at Rest.”

Additionally, “17th Street Treament Centre” off of the new album, is from the owner’s perspective. He/she tells the story of his/her rehab and sings about their cat leaving.

“Sang the one about the spring the cat ran away. On the twenty-first day of my court-ordered stay here.”

Finally, the most tear jerking song I think Samson has ever written is the album closer “Virtuted at Rest.” The song starts out saying that the treatment and antidepressants are over. It is the final chapter in these two’s story.

The song this time is told by the cat, Virtute, who has passed away but now can finally be at rest knowing that her owner is better. The lyrics that hit me the hardest were.

“You should know I am with you, know I forgive you. Know I am proud of the steps that you’ve made.”

The way Samson constructs his characters and how much compassion and love he can get out of them through a song is a talent that no other musician does better.

Samson’s music is music that everyone should listen to. The well-crafted words and stories gives his music life. And that’s what this album has and is all about. Life. “Winter Wheat” might not be his hardest rocking album, but it is by far his most well written album yet.

Cameron Campbell  is a staff writer for  The Dakota Student. He can be reached at  [email protected]