Bob Menzies - One More Highway
A fine collection rooted in a worldly wisdom

One More Highway is a fitting title indeed for Bob Menzies' second recording.  An inveterate wanderer who's learned his share of life's lessons on treks that have taken him around the globe, he remains a restless spirit.  Many of the songs on One More Highway deal with the theme of travel, whether literal or metaphorical.

Menzies' music would probably best be described as folk-rock, but the blues and good ol' rock 'n' roll are evident as well.  Don't call it Americana, though - Menzies was born in Holland, raised in Montreal, and has worked in Germany, London, and California.  So while the musical forms are familiar enough, there's a worldly wisdom here, a sense that Menzies' true home is global indeed.

Menzies wrote all the material on One More Highway, many based on or inspired by his own real-life experiences.  There's "Riders Of The Purple Sage," employing a clever combination of Zane Grey titles to tell a tale of hobo life, and "End Of The Line," a tune about the famed Green Parrot Bar in Key West.   There's "Can't Be Saved By Love," a song infused with Fado, the bluesy-sad music of Portugal, and "San Francisco," a harrowing account of the dark side of the 'Summer Of Love.'

"Black Widow Spider" is a freewheeling yarn of unrequited love that sounds like a lost Dylan tune (yes, it's that good), and the hook-heavy title track, an anthemic celebration of restlessness, deals with the irresistible urge to keep moving, to travel "one more highway ...".

Production is exemplary, rich and full, with Menzies' craggy but thoroughly convincing voice front and center; what he lacks in polish, he makes up for with unadorned honesty.  The band includes producer Russell Gray on guitars and ebow (used to coax otherwise unobtainable tones from an electric guitar) and James Gray (no relation) on keys, violin, and accordion.  (The latter, formerly of Canadian country-rock institution Blue Rodeo, passed away shortly after these sessions were recorded).

What it comes down to, though, are the songs, and here Menzies is a master craftsman.  They're all catchy, with sing-along choruses and genuinely infectious melodies.  But there's wisdom here, too.  Menzies knows there are no answers, really, and the search is what matters in the end; be thankful for  life's grace notes, but never, ever stop seeking.  As he sings on the title track, "We're only young for a minute ..."

This is wise and wonderful stuff, highly recommended.

JAIMIE VERNON – TELL ME ARE YOU LISTENING (Album review published March 8, 2014) BOB MENZIES – One More Highway

Bob Menzies has become one of my new favourite singer-songwriters. I realize it’s a tired old phrase and describes
a million different musicians out there, but Bob harkens back to some of our long-lost musical heroes: the troubadours,
the storytellers, the minstrels.

Musically ‘One More Highway’ continues driving across the road
map (pun intended) as laid out in his debut release ‘Breaking Time’. Bob expands on his world travelled, in-depth
observational personality profiles featuring all manner of rogues (“Totally Wrong Side of Town”), ne’er do wells
(the Eric Clapton-esque “Black Widow Spider” and the sassy I-IV-V driving “Lucinda Night”) and lovers
(“Can’t Be Saved By Love”).  The songs bounce between folk balladry (the Dylan-like “End of the Line” &
“San Francisco” and the Chris DeBurgh styled “Totally Wrong Side of Town”) to country (“Riders of the Purple Sage”
and “One More Highway”

Bob makes each song personal and descriptive – a workaday approach to lyrics that are refreshing and unpretentious.
Russell Gray’s production is A1 – allowing a full spectrum mix for all the acoustic instrumentation including some of
the final recorded keyboard, violin, and accordion tracks by the late James Gray.
Here’s hoping Bob continues
globetrotting so we can be the recipients of more of his engaging musical stories.

Send your CDs to: Jaimie Vernon, 180 Station Street, Suite 53, Ajax, ON L1S 1R9 CANADA
Jaimie’s column appears every Saturday.
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Jaimie “Captain CanCon” Vernon has been president of the on again/off-again Bullseye Records of Canada
since 1985. He wrote and published Great White Noise magazine in the ‘90s, has been a musician for 35 years,
and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 16 of those years. He is also the author of the Canadian
Pop Music Encyclopedia and a collection of his most popular ‘Don’t Believe A Word I Say’ columns called ‘Life’s
A Canadian…BLOG’ both of which are available at