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Mean Old World explores the path of Gordie Tentrees from foster child to foster parent in songs like Rosetta, Every Child and the title track Mean Old World.
Gordie spent time in the social service system before growing up to be a school teacher and youth worker, then coming back full circle as a foster parent to an indigenous child.
Wind Walker is inspired by close friends who found each other while leading by example. Gordie’s days as a five-time Golden Glove boxer are recounted in Ring Speed. His gratitude rises in Far Away Friends, a tribute recognizing all those special off-the-stage hosts who supported him in his 2,500-plus concerts around the world. Further experiences in foreign countries pursuing record deals roll tongue-in-cheek throughout Danke. The learning gained from supporting a childhood friend through the last stages of cancer is presented in Train is Gone. Two best friends who break the mold once a year by adventuring together, leaving their domestic partners to muddle through, are featured in Lefties. Twice as Nice lets us know that the grass is never greener.
This recording is best listened to as a whole project. Each song is a treasure, beautifully sung, great instrumentation, wonderful production, fantastic lyrics, yet fitting together as a whole. Gordie has always had muscle and confidence in his music, but this project represents increased nuance and depth. The works reveal wit and poignancy. The work inspires the hero in us; it inspires courage, boldness, honour, strength, and confidence. Gordie reminds us that there are hardships but change is possible. He is helped by a score of artistic collaborators including members of the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, an internationally renowned Inland Tlingit performance group based out of Whitehorse, Yukon.
Mean Old World explores humour, truth, reconciliation, abandonment, glory, love, affection, danger, safety, fighting, fleeing, winning and losing. The call to action is to get up, get your toque on, pursue a red feather kiss, but don’t forget about the compost and recycling.