Canada’s Man of a Thousand Songs hits a genuine note
“Stealing Genius” which contains “30 for 60″ is a great gem for Newfoundlanders and people who wish they were Newfoundlanders – which pretty much takes up most of mankind.
The phrase “30 for 60″ means an all-out-bid in the Irish game of Forty-Five’s (45′s). When your down in the game, it’s a Hail Mary bid to beat your opponent with a 60 point upside or downside.
I heard Ron perform this song in Hunter River December 2010 when her was touring in support of the new CD. Today, “30 for 60″ just hit me in the solar plexus.
Maybe it’s the Newfoundland dialect I hear in words of my mother from Pushthrough, Newfoundland. Maybe it’s the game of 45′s she taught is to play long into the night.
They play that game in PEI too. Martha Graham, my mother-in-law gone 7 years now, played 45s incessantly like a Las Vegas card shark. Martha’s game was too hot for me. Martha regularly won the prize like 2 cans of Campbell’s soup at the Catholic community hall. On card play night, Martha served supper then left in a whirl with a “turn out the lights on your way out” as she went through the door.
Ron Hynes already knows what we are just figuring out. The promise of a great middle class life is not in the cards of life for most of us. Going for broke is something we get used to when the cards are all bad.
I don’t have the five in my hand Not a leg to stand on But what the hell…30 for 60
And I don’t have the Jack or Queen But I got on my good poker face And life’s about chances And the Kings in the kitty…30 for 60
I’m sixty-five now and I’m still in the hole Life’s just a game…It’s a grand piece of fun I’ve little else to go on… But I recall my old man used to say What the hell I’m going 30 for 60.
“30 for 60″ – Copyright Ron Hynes and Al Pitman Putnam
The writer of “Sonny’s Dream” has seen his share of highs and lows. “Sonny’s Dream” has been covered by many artists including Emmylou Harris, Great Big Sea, John McDermott, Valdy and the Irish Descendants. “Sonny’s Dream” is a Celtic favorite throughout Canada, New England and wherever Celtic music is sung.
Recovering from a serious drinking problem, Ron Hynes has been back on the road for a few years. The wisdom of looking at life from the bottom, sometimes of a glass, permeates his CD “Stealing Genius”. Ron chose poems from his favorite Newfoundland artists and set them to song.
Ron Hynes is an Newfoundlander, man of the world and man of a thousand songs. He is not maudlin. It’s that amusing way Newfs look at the world such as the romp “Here Come The Yanks” and “Sawchuck” which is up there with Stompin’ Tom’s “The Hockey Game” as a real Canadian hockey song.
“Stealing Genius” is a CD that sneaks up you. If you like Ron Hynes, Newfoundland or Celtic music give it an audition.
At first listen, “Stealing Genius” didn’t grab my attention. I covered the movie, and Ron’s interview and then there were other stories to cover. But little by little it has crept into my consciousness.
The words from different poets gives each song a different perspective, unified with Ron’s singing and guitar.
Beyond the pathos, there are moments of the brilliant Newfoundland humor in the hymn-like “All For The USA” joined at the hip with the hilarious “Home From the USA / Yanks.” “Yanks” is too funny for words and reflects the Island experience as well.
Paul Mill’s production is first-rate with top accompaniment for Ron including Al Cross (drums), Alex Fraser (bass), John Sheard (organ), Burke Carrol (steel guitar) and Tom Leighton on accordion. How could you do a CD about Newfoundland without accordion.
Update from Lynn Horne, Ron’s manager – “The only other clarification (other than the spelling of “Pitman”) I would like to offer is that he didn’t simply sing and play to the words from different poets or authors, the fact is that most of the lyric on Stealing Genius is Ron’s own work, but inspired by works from his favorite NL authors and poets. He generously gave co-writer credit in most cases strictly on the basis of inspiration derived from their novels or poetry. The exceptions would be “I Love You More Than God” and “30 for 60”, where the lyric is mostly taken from the poets’ original works.”
I don’t think the movie “Man of a Thousand Songs” has been released on DVD but I’m checking with Ron’s publicist.
Thanks to Lynn Horne, Ron’s manager, for the review CD and to my friend Paul Ness for suggesting this song again. This is my first story written totally in Windows 8 – my main computer is undergoing an upgrade and down for 2-days.