29 Tracks recorded on tour with The Tragically Hip, at clubs, dive bars and theatres across Canada, available digitally for the first time since its 1997 release.
Welcome to our live album. As we recorded it – that is, as we dragged two digital tape machines and a mixing board across the country and unboxed them nightly, often in haste and with minutes to spare before hitting the stage – we had no idea that, upon reflection, this would turn out to be a defining recording for us. Yet it is. All of your favourites were considered for this record (please, no letters lamenting the exclusion of “The World is Fluffly” or “Hallowe’en Eyes”) and we tried to slip in a few lost gems for good measure. Everything was recorded on our last Canadian tour with hits added from our arena stint opening for The Tragically Hip. We hope that this platter sounds like the road, which, for us, represents more good than bad. In the 27 songs included here, you can feel all of those miles rolled up in there, those timeless purple evenings spent on the highways of Canada, driving through wilding snowstorms and blinding sunsets, wheeling from town to town, club to club, hall to hall, colliding paths with strangers, and unapologetically tapping into the astonishing goodwill of Canadian music lovers coast-to-coast-to-coast who opened their doors to us and saved our collective bacon on more than one occasion. This band would be dead were it not for them.
These evergreen words live in the CD booklet of Rheostatics’ Double Live, released in 1997. With Martin Tielli’s handpainted triple-mapled double-neck guitar on the cover, Double Live became one of the band’s bestselling albums, a document of life on tour with The Hip, and life well outside the orbit of the arena machine, in clubs and wherever else the Rheos clawed and conjured their shows. Live Between Us is the story of a national headliner in peak form; Double Live is the weirder, jagged, chasmic dog-eared story of a band that wouldn’t fit that role, yet endure regardless, on their own stubborn terms and in their own rapturous way.
With rarities and oddities including the nervous seasick cover of Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” improvised material not found on any other Rheos’ albums and all the hits from the band’s cabinet of curiosities, Double Live is a deep dive into a time, group and traveling scene.
Double Live, with all its glorious idiosyncrasies, is now available on streaming platforms worldwide via Six Shooter Records.