Sons Of Maxwell
So there’s a band from Nova Scotia (a faraway but friendly northeastern Canadian province) called the Sons Of Maxwell that I just came across today, and I wanna start out here by displaying one of their videos from a few years ago just because I think it’s top-priority to make note that they really seem like they’re a pretty good band, first and foremost:
Not bad, eh? I mean, maybe not the world’s Next Big Thing, but a quite tuneful and pleasant buncha Canuck rootsy-popsters. I’d go see ’em if they came through my neck o’ the woods, easily enough. Seems like it’d be a fun time.
OK, now. For better or worse, they’ve managed to launch themselves into the spotlight in a major way just in the past week and a half, as a result of a song that their frontman, Dave Carroll, wrote about an unfortunate experience last year with an airline that mishandled and broke his guitar when the band was flying to a show in the States. Seems Carroll decided he couldn’t just let the airline off the hook with no consequences after they refused to pay for damages, and so he informed them that he was going to write a series of songs about the incident, with accompanying videos that he would then unleash upon an unsuspecting public.
I’m not sure if he expected it to work as well as it has. Indeed, all of this may be old news to you by now, because even though he posted the first video just nine days ago, the YouTube counter tells me that I am the 2,956,699th person to watch it. Yes, you read that right, just a shade under 3 million. (And likely beyond 3 million by the time you check it out yourself.) It’s called “United Breaks Guitars” — props for such succinct clarity in the title — and here it is:
Aside from the fact that the guy is on a mission — a CNN report just two days after it was posted helped to make it go viral — what impressed me as I watched the video (very nicely done in its own right from a visual standpoint) was just how competent of a tunesmith Carroll is. Plenty of people could’ve taken such an argument to the public airwaves, obviously, but I think a lot of the reason for the success of this particular venture is that it’s really pretty good music. And I hope that doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the earnestness of the Canadian roots-music types; this is just the latest example of why.