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Gord Downie, The Sadies, and The Conquering Sun 

S/T (Arts and Crafts)

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Downie’s time outside The Tragically Hip has been a bit of a space walk, teetering toward performance rant. It’s reassuring to find him in front of a band as solid as The Sadies, who benefit from Downie’s charisma. At times, you’d swear it is The Hip. The Sadies are capable chameleons. They can play country (The Good Family) or the blues (Andre Williams). Here, the energies meld, especially when Downie pitches in on harmony vocal for “Budget Shoes.” “Devil Enough” lets Downie radiate his anomie while the Sadies skate briskly from rustic shuffle to rock, creating a unit greater than the sum of its parts.

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