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Singer/songwriter and poetic improviser Gordon Downie is one of Canada's most treasured artists. Beginning in 1983, he fronted Kingston, Ontario's beloved trad rock band the Tragically Hip, and Downie's lush and charming lyrical stories have garnered the Hip many fans across the globe, particularly in pockets of New York and Michigan. Downie, however, is the leading force — not only as a vocalist, but also as an artist. The clarity in his songwriting exudes a passion, a poignant sensibility for the most simplistic and the most complex.
Aside from his band duties, the new millennium saw Downie making time for a solo career. He worked alongside Skydiggers' Josh Finlayson and ex-Odds bass player Steven Drake, to complete and produce his first solo effort, 2001's Coke Machine Glow. Coke Machine Glow, which was also the title of his first book of poetry and prose, was recorded in Gas Station Studios and featured additional help from Barenaked Ladies' Kevin Hearn, bandmate Paul Langlois, and Don Kerr of Rheostatics. A second solo effort, Battle of the Nudes appeared two summers later.