Best of the B Sides: “Comin’ Home”

I’ve been listening to Hozier like crazy this week. If any debut this year packs a huge punch right out of the gate, it’s Hozier, and it’s been putting me in the mood for City and Colour. City and Colour is another fabulous fall artist, writing acoustic pieces that are just perfect for the turn in the weather. We saw him perform at Made In America and, truth be told, it wasn’t the right audience for him. He played an amazing set, but it fell on the ears of festival-goers just yearning for an EDM beat. So let’s celebrate City and Colour a little bit this week with an amazing b side that I’ve been listening to almost every week for two years.

Dallas Green, better known as City and Colour, is probably best known for his single “Waiting…” from sophomore album Bring Me Your Love (2008). It’s one of his more upbeat tracks on a fantastically mellow album, but where he really shines is in his live recordings. On his 2007 live album, “Comin’ Home” is a smooth and nostalgic track that captures a beautiful sense of Americana (strange, considering Green is a proud Canadian). Between the intimate primary guitar track and the eerie echoing background guitar, the power and yearning in this track are palpable. Not to mention the lyrics: I’ve been down to Georgia/ I’ve seen the streets in the West/ I’ve driven down the 90/ Hell, I’ve seen America’s best/ I’ve been through the Rockies/ And I’ve seen Saskatoon/ I’ve driven down the highway 1/ Just hoping that I’d see you soon. As I said about Americana, there’s a sense of the Great American Roadtrip in this song, but it keeps itself far away from cliché.

As far as Green’s technical skills go, his guitar playing is on par with the acoustic greats among his peer group: Jack Johnson, Ed Sheeran, Jason Mraz, and Damien Rice. His intuition for the feeling of a song is what makes him stand apart — City and Colour’s work is uniquely City and Colour. The rest of his music is built on the same nostalgic yearning, but it’s not overplayed. He’s smart with how he approaches his work, and we saw as much at Made In America.

Photography by Kyle V. Hiller.

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