Published on November 18th, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz


The Tragically Hip’s Rob Baker On The New “Road Apples” Deluxe Edition, Future Releases & More

Critically-acclaimed for more than 3 decades, The Tragically Hip has been at the heart of the Canadian musical zeitgeist, evoking a strong emotional connection between their music and their fans that remains unrivalled. The 5-piece group of friends — comprised of Rob Baker (guitar), Gord Downie (vocals, guitar), Johnny Fay (drums), Paul Langlois (guitar) and Gord Sinclair (bass) — started playing music in Kingston, Ontario. In the years since, The Tragically Hip sold more than 10 million albums in Canada and over 1.5 million sold in the U.S., while earning achieving peer recognition via 15 Juno Awards. Later this week, The Hip will be part of a rare performance alongside Feist at The 50th Annual JUNO Awards, where the group will be presented a Humanitarian Award by members of Rush.

Earlier this year, The Tragically Hip released the new EP Saskadelphia. 6 songs that were originally written for the Road Apples album in 1990, the tapes for Saskadelphia were originally thought to be lost in the 2008 Universal Music warehouse fire that wiped out countless master tapes. Per the Saskadelphia title itself, interestingly it was the original album title for what became Road Apples, ultimately rejected by record label executives who had deemed it as being “too Canadian.” The EP’s lead single “Ouch” greets listeners with the familiar roaring vocals of late singer and lyricist Gord Downie, while “Not Necessary” has already proven to be loved by advance-listening Hip fans.

Speaking of Road Apples, The Tragically Hip released the Road Apples 30th Anniversary Deluxe earlier this month in both physical and digital formats. Created to mark the 30th anniversary of the band’s second studio album, which became their first record to hit #1, the Road Apples 30th Anniversary Deluxe editions were carefully crafted with input from each living member of the band. The outcome is a deep dive behind the scenes of what made this album one of the most beloved in The Tragically Hip’s vast catalogue. With all tracks completely remastered in 2021 by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in Nashville, for the first time, fans will hear music from the band with all the grit, vibrancy and passion of their original recordings. The expansive deluxe editions of the release are jam packed with rare and more previously unreleased and never heard before pieces of music chronicling the Road Apples era.

Back in June 2021, I had the pleasure of speaking with The Tragically Hip’s bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay via Zoom, as embedded below. More recently on November 10, 2021, I had the opportunity to interview The Hip’s guitarist Rob Baker. Both interviews touched upon Road Apples, musical influences, future projects, and the band’s complex long-term relationship with the United States market. More on The Tragically Hip can be found by clicking here, here, here and here.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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