Chest Fever

This is Richard Manuel. He was one of the 4 Canadian kids who joined one Amercian guy to form a truly unique musical group 40+ years ago. Although the title of this post comes from a song that featured Garth Hudson, Manuel is the one I think about most of the time when the topic of The Band is brought up within earshot.

Manuel’s voice was a key element in the unique vocal sound of the Band, and in combination with Levon Helm and Rick Danko created a beautiful, inspiring harmony. It is unusual even to this day. Listening to “I Shall be Released,” “Wheels on Fire” and “Long Black Veil” from their first album one gets the feeling the songs and that sound could have come from 100 years ago (or older). If you’ve never listened to Music From Big Pink I’d suggest it is a very worthwhile hour.

I’ve been thinking about harmonies over the last little while; when you grow up in a family that believes there are two kinds of music (country, and western) and has all of the Louvin Brothers albums you pick up a thing or two about harmonies. Good harmony takes time and familiarity and they usually work better when you are related (as in the case of Charlie and Ira Louvin and the Everly Brothers).

It resembles the kind of chemistry needed to create a good hockey line. Familiarity and some time to work out the changes.

The Edmonton Oilers spent part of the summer looking for a harmony singer for the top line but the auditions didn’t go well. As incredible as it seems, there are rumblings about using Andrew Cogliano on LW with Patrick O’Sullivan also possible and Robert Nilsson’s name has been whispered too.

If the Oilers don’t make any moves before opening night, the prevailing wisdom is Pat Quinn will prefer the stylings of Dustin Penner on the 1line. He’s familiar, he’s been effective in the role and he knows the songbook. Dustin Penner is not special, he was not touched by God, he is not hockey’s Richard Manuel, but he probably gets the first opportunity to show that the familiarity already created is enough to win the day.

What could change that? Cogliano blazing in pre-season or O’Sullivan scoring goals in bunches early in the year.

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46 Responses to "Chest Fever"

  1. oilersinsider says:

    I did two detailed comparisons my latest on Dustin Penner, and I do agree he gets the start.

    Happy to have you read either of them if interested.

    Penner above anyone else is likely the most motivated to start well. Almost being traded, prove to a new coach you are not the whipping boy and living up to his contract.

  2. Duke Phillips says:

    Lowetide – if you haven't already, you need to listen to The Dirty South by the Drive-By Truckers, and this track specifically.

  3. shanetrain says:

    I am an effort guy. I love seeing guys giving all they have even if it causes them to look foolish sometimes.

    D Penner is a guy that made me livid last year at times. Too much actually. You can pull all the excuses ya want. This guy was dragging a piano and worst of all didnt seem to fucking mind.

    My gut says he has a good start .. gets top mins, 1st PP time etc. But that lazy tic will bring his game right back down into the shit abyss before too long. I hope for his sake the rest of the forwards can really get things going this year to take some pressure off him. Lets face it, he will never live up to the value of his current contract and that sure as hell isnt his fault.

    I am excited to see what Cogliano is going to do this year. The Oil will have some big decisions in 10 months and they will have to break the bank for this guy.

  4. RiversQ says:

    Richard Manuel was incredible. So much pain in that voice, it's no wonder he left the way he did. I like Whispering Pines as his best work.

    Anyway, I think we have to look to Gagner and Cogliano this year. They need to take a run at being legit top sixers. They were progressing nicely over the last two years but the wheels fell off at some point.

  5. B.C.B. says:

    I managed to see Garth Hudson, last new years (with the Sadie's at the Horseshoe), and my friends didn't know what I was freaking out about.

    Penner is old reliable in this case, and I am sure he will get some time on the top line in the first 10 games. But Quinn wouldn't be doing his job, if he does try out Cogliano or Patty'O at least in the preseason, and once during the first half of regular season.

  6. Black Dog says:

    If Quinn is just going to roll lines then Cogliano should get a shot, imo.

    But if he just rolls lines they're going to lose a ton of games.

    So Horcoff gets the dirty work and we'll see Penner on his left then.

    They'll still lose a lot of games though.

  7. Lowetide says:

    The funny thing about Manuel is that the quality of all the Band albums is directly related to how much he had to do with creating the songs. Garth Hudson, too. Robbie Robertson gets way too much credit from people who don't know much about the Band. Nothing against him, but I wish the world gave credit to all 5. They were incredible.

  8. knighttown says:

    The one thing that keeps Cogs from being an elite offensive player is his puckhandling. If he and Hemsky attcked the blueline w speed 100 times, Hemsky would create a scoring chance 40 times and Cogliano's number would be closer to 5.

    He's got lots of other pluses:
    -tight, Crosby-like cycling skills
    -nice offwing snap shot

  9. Yeti says:

    "Penner above anyone else is likely the most motivated to start well. Almost being traded, prove to a new coach you are not the whipping boy and living up to his contract."

    None of those things seem to be of great concern to Dustin. He'll simply keep doing his thing, his way. Awesome and infuriating in equal measure. Dustin Penner hockey.

  10. DBO says:

    I really wonder if this off season is exactly what Dustin Penner needed to get a smidgen of motivation. We've seen what happens when he gets motivated in game. Like Arnott from the 90's, he can turn it up and become a force on the ice. I like Penner on 1 LW to start the year. And listening to Cogs he seems open to playing wing (as he mentioned one of them can play wing, they just want to play together). So play Cogs and Gagner with O'Sullivan or Penner. Now we just need a 3rd line centre. Is it that fricken hard to sign one of Malhotra or Moore? Betts can get a training camp invite. I'm for signing malhotra and betts and sending Brule and Nilsson to the minors. We would have 3 solid two way centres who can win faceoffs, kill penalties and play with grit. That gives us our best shot at competing. Sign Betts for $.6 and Malhotra for $1.5. you send brule and Nilsson down (saves $2.8 m) and gives us $1.8 mill under the cap. We'll need to make moves next year to clear cap sapce, but for this year we would have our most veteran and balanced lineup since the cup run. And have the ability to make a move for a top LW if needed.

  11. Coach pb9617 says:

    I am an effort guy. I love seeing guys giving all they have even if it causes them to look foolish sometimes.

    You must love Stortini.

  12. LMHF#1 says:

    Cogliano really only works on the Hemsky line if they land a big C to ride shotgun.

    Since I don't see my desired Jason Arnott trade occuring, Staal is off the market and Horton hasn't even been mentioned really, I'm not holding out much hope that happens.

  13. bookie says:

    You know, I will just be happy if the line gets to play together past a couple of mistakes and/or bad shifts. Our previous coach was always looking for the magic formula to solve inconsitancy and lack of competativeness on his team.

    I sure hope our new coach finds other ways to inspire competativeness and realizes consistancy comes from stability in coaching strategy and some stability in lines.

    I understand that mixing lines is neccesary in the NHL and that it is common practice. I get that, but it needs to be done with more logic than in the past. I think many of these players will do better if the hand at the rudder is a little bit steadier.

  14. bookie says:

    The Edmonton Oilers have called a media conference this afternoon featuring a major announcement from the Oilers and Telus.

    I hope that we are not about to become "Your Edmonton Telus Oilers" or that the Oilers won't be playing in 'Rexall Telus Place'.

  15. raventalon40 says:

    Mike Comrie press conference Friday.

  16. rickibear says:

    send brule and Nilsson down (saves $2.8 m) and gives us $1.8 mill under the cap.

    Can you name the two forwards who were +ve outscorers the last two years.

    Horcoff
    Nilsson

    Send Nilsson to the minors to save cap space is:

    1. Brilliant cause guys who are outscorers are a dime a dozen
    or
    2. Dumb cause sending out one of your only two outscores is a step backwards.

    I wonder if there is a better send him on his way canidate. Some one who is terrible outscoring and a shitty shooter.

    Hmmm:

    Negative outscorer the last two years and a career shooting % of 7.5

    Alll you O'sullivan is a shooter guys.IF Patrick O'sullivan can make a majic change to his game then all the HF Board boys are correct Robbie is hard done by.

    POS would be a nice start in a package for Marleau.

  17. Boondock says:

    So does the Comrie signing officially bury Schremp's chances? Seems to me that Robbie's small sliver of oppurtunity to make this team might be flushed out by Comrie's return.

  18. Schitzo says:

    I think the Cogs-Hemsky combo gets tried, and it will only take a few games before we get sick of hearing

    Horcoff recovers the puck, chips it up to Hemsky at centre, he has Cogliano with him, Hemsky dekes at the blueline… and the play is called offside on Andrew Cogliano.

    I just don't see how "straight ahead speed" is a fit with "warning: stops suddenly"

  19. quain says:

    Yeah, but how awesome would that line be long-term? Eventually Hemsky starts screaming at Cogliano for going offsides, Cogliano starts screaming at Hemsky for being indecisive like a stereotypical woman, and Horcoff chases both of them around the locker room with a skate after his 917th 'charge up the ice to join the play, immediately skate backwards because of a turnover.'

    I think the only reason I like this team is because of a possible homicide at some point in the season.

  20. Bruce says:

    If you've never listened to Music From Big Pink I'd suggest it is a very worthwhile hour.

    It's a worthwhile hour that has been repeated many, many times in my life over the past 40 (egads!) years. A classic that never gets old.

    I just don't see how "straight ahead speed" is a fit with "warning: stops suddenly"

    Yeah, I have trouble visualizing this too. Cogliano's strength is to beat everybody to the scoring area, and he needs a set-up man who will make the early pass when the hole is just developing. That is much more Gagner or Nilsson than it is Hemsky.

  21. kris says:

    The Edmonton Oilers have called a media conference this afternoon featuring a major announcement from the Oilers and Telus.

    Oh no, the Oilers have found a way to bill us for roaming.

  22. Doogie2K says:

    The funny thing about Manuel is that the quality of all the Band albums is directly related to how much he had to do with creating the songs. Garth Hudson, too. Robbie Robertson gets way too much credit from people who don't know much about the Band. Nothing against him, but I wish the world gave credit to all 5. They were incredible.

    Sounds a bit like Pink Floyd. Sure, Roger Waters wrote some good stuff for them, but the best Pink Floyd (Dark Side and Wish You Were Here) was a collaborative effort, especially with David Gilmour.

    Betts can get a training camp invite. I'm for signing malhotra and betts and sending Brule and Nilsson to the minors. We would have 3 solid two way centres who can win faceoffs, kill penalties and play with grit. That gives us our best shot at competing. Sign Betts for $.6 and Malhotra for $1.5.

    Good luck with that. Betts already said that he wasn't interested, and if Malhotra wouldn't sign in Columbus for under $2M, why would he sign in Edmonton for $1.5M?

  23. bookie says:

    Betts said the Oilers were not an option – He didnt specifically say he was not iterested. It could be that they investigated going with the Oilers and the Oil said – Nope, no cap room unless you sign for <$1 mil.

  24. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT – did you nix my post on Robbie's ego? Can I ask why?

  25. Lord Bob says:

    Robbie Robertson was the Ales Hemsky of the Band. Levon Helm was Shawn Horcoff, Rick Danko (at least late in life) was Dustin Penner, and Garth Hudson was probably Jeff Deslauriers.

    Manuel, though, was Fernando Pisani through and through.

  26. Coach pb9617 says:

    dantencer Pisani just said "Mike will help us." A slip of the tongue or letting the cat out of the bag? Seeing Tambellini in 2 hours and will ask.

  27. spOILer says:

    Why won't these Comrie rumours just go away?

    Who would help this team more? A RH FO guy? Or Comrie?

  28. anonymous says:

    Finally that monster trade we've been waiting for: Telus Place and Rexall field.

  29. Lowetide says:

    coach: Nope. I just got on after a busy morning, please post again.

  30. Doogie2K says:

    Betts said the Oilers were not an option – He didnt specifically say he was not iterested. It could be that they investigated going with the Oilers and the Oil said – Nope, no cap room unless you sign for <$1 mil.

    You're arguing semantics here. Technically, yes, it could mean that, too, but the net effect is the same, no? If he's not willing to sign here for <$1M, then he's not interested in signing here. Same argument as Malhotra: He wants $2M, Edmonton can't or won't give it to him, so he's not interested.

  31. Coach pb9617 says:

    Robbie Robertson gets way too much credit from people who don't know much about the Band.

    Levon was the blood and guts, Manuel was the soul and Hudson was the heart. Robertson was the ego.

  32. Lord Bob says:

    God, coach, no wonder LT deleted that filth! You might as well have said "sloppy second".

    Robbie Robertson was really, really good at what he did, and the fact that he thought he was even better shouldn't be allowed to obscure that.

  33. Dennis says:

    It is Not cool that you left out "It Makes No Difference", LT!

    BTW, my horse Jethro went mad when he heard the Oilers were likely to sign Comrie.

  34. Coach pb9617 says:

    God, coach, no wonder LT deleted that filth! You might as well have said "sloppy second".

    I posted it twice – I saw it in the comments list and then it disappeared and the comments decremented by 1.

    I thought LT was Robertson for a minute.

  35. Lowetide says:

    I love Makes no Difference, was listening to it (and drinking beer) when I wrote this post last night. I might just crank up the Last Waltz this weekend (along about 3am) and get real melancholy.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Well, if I was Robertson then I'd lay claim to all the posts. Just filter through and put my name on them. :-)

  37. Sign Johnny Bower says:

    Blogger seems bloggered today

    "Chest Fever"

    So many other (and better) possibilities for a picture lede this one.

    The funny thing about Manuel is that the quality of all the Band albums is directly related to how much he had to do with creating the songs. Garth Hudson, too. Robbie Robertson gets way too much credit from people who don't know much about the Band. Nothing against him, but I wish the world gave credit to all 5. They were incredible.

    Levon was the blood and guts, Manuel was the soul, Hudson was the heart. Robertson was the ego.

  38. Black Dog says:

    I saw that original comment coach.

    Hmm.

    I think it disappeared because Penner is fat. He must have ate it.

  39. Woodguy says:

    "Same argument as Malhotra: He wants $2M, Edmonton can't or won't give it to him, so he's not interested."

    After Tanguay signed for 2.5M how married to the 2M number do you think Malhotra is?

  40. Woodguy says:

    Oilers hire Sillinger:

    From the release:

    Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the appointment of Mike Sillinger to the position of Director of Player Development.

    The 38-year-old native of Regina, Saskatchewan, moves into the position after playing 17 seasons in the National Hockey League.

    “We are very excited to have Mike fill such an important role with us,” said Tambellini. “We know his experience of 1,000-plus NHL games will benefit our younger players and the development of their careers.”

    As a member of the Oilers Hockey Management Team, Sillinger will work closely with all Oiler draft picks in the junior, college and European ranks. He will also be working with Edmonton’s prospects in the AHL and ECHL.

  41. uni says:

    That's a solid looking move. Lordie knows Cogliano and Gagner could use some face-off lessons from Sillinger =).

  42. shanetrain says:

    As a matter of fact coach, I do have a thing for Stortini's work ethic. He actually personifies what I was trying to say.

  43. Bruce says:

    Nice to have an experienced 4C sitting in the pressbox taking up no cap space, but there if necessary. I wouldn't rule it out if the situation dictates. Sillinger offers a lot of what we need, esp. Experience.

    As for Robbie Robertson, I thought his first album (eponymous, natch!) was excellent. Favoruite track is "Fallen Angel", honouring Richard Manuel, which significantly, leads off the album.

  44. Doogie2K says:

    After Tanguay signed for 2.5M how married to the 2M number do you think Malhotra is?

    A fair point; depends on how smart he is. I was originally much more annoyed about everyone and his dog saying that Malhotra should sign here for $1.5M, due to his original demands, but then I realized that it's September and he's still unsigned, so he may (should) back off. I still don't think it's likely that he signs here, from a cap or contract number perspective, but it's more likely he moves on the $2M demand now than it was in July.

    Also, I'm being weirded out by everyone talking about being Robertson, because I am (a) Robertson. And no, I'm not related to Robbie. That I know of.

  45. Alice says:

    Ditto to RiversQ. whispering Pines is a beauty

    Go to amazon, type 'classic albums' (I think) there's DVD's of a british series that goes into the making of some classic albums. Interviews with band, producers, what-have-you. Stevie wonder, Pink Floyd, Cream, Fleetwood Mac there's a bunch. The one I picked up was The Band/The Band. Where you find out the album was recorded in Sammy Davis Jr's house in Hollywood. Amongst other things – did you know you could turn a snare drum upside down and just kind of strum it?

  46. andy grabia says:

    No love for Danko on here? Shameful.

    Anyone interested in The Band should also listen to The Basement Tapes with Dylan.

    LT, Helm just did a special for PBS at the Ryman theatre. Search for "Levon Helm Ramble Ryman" and some good clips come up. I also recommend his two most recent records, "Dirt Farmer" and "Electric Dirt." It's one of my goals in life to get out to one of his midnight rambles on his farm in Woodstock.

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