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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Blue Rodeo Keyboardist Mike Boguski Banishes 2020 with New Single 'Here's To Tomorrow'

By Jason Schneider.

Blue Rodeo keyboardist enlists Tim Vesely (Rheostatics) and Colin Cripps (Crash Vegas) for latest solo single.

Mike Boguski has been playing keyboards for Canadian Music Hall of Famers Blue Rodeo since 2008, but when he’s had the the chance to explore different musical avenues in recent years, the results have consistently revealed his naturally restless creative spirit. It appears again on his latest single, “Here’s To Tomorrow,” a trippy instrumental composed with the intent (as its title suggests) to re-invigorate us after the hardship and strife of the previous year.

Produced and mixed by Tim Vesely (Rheostatics), “Here’s To Tomorrow” also features Colin Cripps (Blue Rodeo, Crash Vegas, Junkhouse) on guitar, Davide Direnzo (Jacksoul, Lydia Ainsworth) on drums, along with Vesely on bass synth. The song’s accompanying video, created by Team B Productions with editing by Michael Hurcomb, puts its message in even clearer context with a stunning montage of images that in some instances we are longing to have back in our lives, and in other cases hoping to erase from our memory completely.

Boguski says, “I had written this tune primarily as an eff-you to Covid. I wanted it to honour those who were lost, but also as a stare down and ‘bye-bye’ to 2020. Spring is here, the future is unwritten. From a musical standpoint, this piece also expresses my despondency over the state of modern Rock. Colin, Tim and I all come from a time when innovative bands were actually on the radio and nobody was obsessed with gettin g ‘vintage sounds.’ In my first bands, the keyboard de jour was the Korg M1. It was the keyboard you used if you wanted to sound modern. With that in mind, all of the keys on this track were played on my M1.”

“Here’s To Tomorrow” builds on Boguski’s previous two jazz-funk instrumental singles, “Message From Mars” and “December,” both recorded with Cowboy Junkies’ Michael Timmins and the original Blue Rodeo rhythm section, Bazil Donovan and Cleave Anderson. On top of that, Boguski formed the Cold Manitoba project, which released three singles to benefit the Native Addictions Council of Manitoba.

It’s all an extension of an overall creative re-awakening Boguski experienced several years ago after taking part in a benefit concert for Toronto’s Regent Park School of Music. It inspired him to embrace improvisation techniques again, and even enrol in a class at York University with one of his previous improvisation teachers just prior to his retirement.

Since then, nothing has been off the table for Boguski musically; with Timmins, he recorded Blues For The Penitent in 2018, an album comprised entirely of improvised acoustic piano pieces, and the following year he recorded Detour with Direnzo and bassist Roberto Occhipinti, channeling a classic Blue Note Records jazz trio approach into a collection that mixed standards with Blue Rodeo deep cuts. Detour’s only original composition, “King Ramsey,” was a tribute to Ramsey Lewis and earned the approval of not only its subject, but also the prestigious Jazz Foundation of America.

Mike Boguski has more ambitious musical plans in the works and, as he brilliantly demonstrates on “Here’s To Tomorrow,” he’s not letting anything hold him back from getting his sonic visions onto tape and allowing his audience to shape their own visions from them.


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