Music Monday – “These cruel men keep running ’round/That’s why Charlie’s coming down”

You may be familiar with CBC Radio’s “Great Canadian Song Quest“, a contest where people could write-in votes for different locations in each of Canada’s provinces and territories then a designated artist/band from each region write a song about the top vote getting spot.  (The first edition was 2009 and featured specific locations.  This year’s version launched at the start of September with the theme being “roads” with nominations for different roads  closing on September 22 to be followed by a couple weeks of voting for the most popular road for each province/territory.)

I recently bought the iTunes album that resulted from the first contest and yes, I’m biased but the entry for Saskatchewan by a band called Deep Dark Woods is probably my favourite track (that or the Hawksley Workman tune for Ontario.)  The song’s about Good Time Charlie’s which is/was a downtown dive bar at the city’s heart – Victoria Avenue and Albert Street – which is now being torn down in favour of a high rise condo/upscale hotel development.  The Plains hotel that housed Good Time Charlie’s has been been around well, long enough that my dad stayed there for awhile when he came to the city for work one summer when he was in his late teens.

I didn’t go a lot myself but it definitely had a reputation as a place where college kids would go to slum it/see the other side/live dangerously or however you want to describe it. (Of course, any bar that featured karaoke prominently a couple times a week can’t be that dangerous, can it?)

Anyhow, here’s the song that came out of the CBC contest (and if you’re voting in round two, feel free to throw to pick “Saskatchewan Grid Roads” as a favourite – a theme which will resonate with pretty much everyone in the province since (useless trivia alert) Saskatchewan has more road miles per capita than any place on earth.)

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