Thursday, June 25, 1998

Stompin' Tom set for summer tour
By RICK OVERALL -- Ottawa Sun

Canadians are about to rediscover our greatest country music treasure: Stompin' Tom Connors.

The just-released CD Souvenirs offers a 25-track overview of Connors' illustrious career and it serves as a companion for the release of 10 of his most essential titles in the Man of the Land Collection.

Connors will also appear at the Canadian Rocks Canada Party in Ottawa on Wednesday and then set out across the country on a huge tour.

Along with his hardcore fans, Connors retains the fervor of a huge crowd of young followers.

"I guess it might have something to do with the renegade side of my career," he says in a phone interview from Toronto. "The overall picture of Stompin' Tom is that I'm not one of the regular music industry type entertainers. I think young people like that attitude.

"But I also believe it has to do with the content of the songs and the Canadianism that's there, along with the fact that I'm not afraid to sing about a land that very few want to sing about.

"But, you know, I'm noticing lately the young musicians are adding a lot of identifiable Canadian slogans. So maybe it's all finally coming togethe."

Although Connors gets relatively no country radio play, he's over his anger at being nixed from playlists.

"I guess I've made up my mind that they'll never play me whether I gold plate the record or whatever.
"I can make a good living doing what I do and with the re-release of the 10 CDs this summer and a new studio disc we're about to record, things are looking just fine."

He's actually not too impressed with "country" these days anyway.

"Today's music is just about love triangles and you never hear songs about trucks, trains or work-a-day subjects. There's so much to sing about and nobody's doing it." Connors is rarin' to get back out on the road again this year.

"I think we've scheduled at least 40 shows across Canada and although it's going to be a lot of driving for me -- about 12,000 miles over the next four months -- it's just good to see my country again."

Yes folks, Stompin' Tom does all the driving and there's nary a tour bus to be found.

"We hire a couple of vans and a sound truck and our CBs and away we go just like we've always done it.
"If you've got a tour bus you still have to take taxis if you want to do a little sightseeing -- we're just pretty practical."
The lone local stop so far on this tour will be a return to the Carleton Place Arena sometime in August.
"I always have a great time there and we always like to come back."

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