Sootoday, August 19, 2009



By Donna Hopper

(Photo: Canadian icon Stompin' Tom with Tim Hus at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, ON)

Stompin' Tom Connors credits the small Northern Ontario city of Timmins for launching his long and illustrious career as one of Canada's most beloved folk country singer/songwriters.

After more than 40 years of writing and singing about Canada, Connors has earned the title of National Treasure.Well now, the Calgary-based Tim Hus may just have Connors to thank for giving his own career a boost.

The young and proud Canadian cowboy is currently on tour with Connors, and told the Essar Centre audience last night that the opportunity to perform with his hero was a dream come true.

"This is like passing the torch along," said Connors about having Hus tour with him. "I thought I was the only one doing this."

Connors went as far as to refer to Hus's father, Helmut, as a kindred spirit.

The elder Hus traveled all the way from British Columbia to the Sault by hopping freight trains and hitching rides in order to catch last night's performance.

And Connors may know a thing or two about traveling the country in this manner.

After departing Prince Edward Island at the age of 15, he hitchhiked across the country for 13 years, writing songs and working part-time jobs until he landed a year-long gig at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

With 20 albums' worth of original material to draw from, dozens of audience requests were screamed out during last night's concert.

Always a joker, Connors' response to most of them was, "I don't know it."

While every Canadian undoubtedly has a favourite Stompin' Tom Connors song, those chosen last night included Muckin' Slushers, Tillsonburg, Gumboot Clogeroo, Bud the Spud, Sudbury Saturday Night, Margo's Cargo, Little Wawa, Zakuska Polka, Goodbye Rubberhead, The Ballad of Stompin' Tom and of course Algoma Central 69.

Connors' tour continues through Ontario with stops in Rama, St. Catharines, London and Hamilton.

Fellow troubadour Tim Hus will return to Sault Ste. Marie on September 14 with a performance at Loplops Gallery-Lounge located at 651 Queen Street East.

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