As a young boy driving with his dad across vast stretches of Northern Ontario, Corin Raymond got the first inkling that he’d grow to tell stories. His father, a teacher, librarian and bookseller, instilled in him a unshakable love of words that would carry him across decades and continents as a folk troubadour, first with his two-man band, the Undesirables, and eventually as a solo artist.
Raymond is now getting set to release his seventh album, Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams, on March 3rd, a project financed through Pledge Music and woven through with the voices and talents of his friends. Raymond talks about the collaboration that drove the song he’s premiering today, “Two Miles of Train,” noting, “[It] is a co-write with my favorite Canadian songwriter: Raghu Lokanathan. Raghu’s music isn’t easy to find, but it’s a treasure to those of us who have it in our lives. I put a Raghu Lokanathan song called “Sugar Candy Mountain” on my previous album, and (my favorite U.S. songwriter) Jonathan Byrd called it a “hobo jungle fever dream.” Next time I saw Raghu, we played a show together on Gabriola Island, B.C., and we started “Two Miles of Train” that night. We finished it the next day, on the ferry back to the mainland. For the details in the verses, we drew from the road adventures of our mutual friend, Andru McCracken – who at age 21 rode his motorcycle from Edmonton, Alberta, all the way to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. So between Jonathan Byrd, Raghu Lokanathan, Andru McCracken, and me, I got a killer tune and the album title to boot. It’s good to have crazy friends.”
“Two Miles Of Train” embodies the carefree, slightly mad wanderlust that marked the track’s creation, steaming along with harmonica and drums that mimic the rollicking drive of its titular mode of transport. Raymond’s talking blues recall the greats of the genre, notably the lyrical storytelling of John Prine and the irreverence of Arlo Guthrie. “Two Miles of Train” is prime for a whiskey-fueled, campfire singalong, likely to incite a little rebellion in even the most buttoned-up among us.
Give “Two Miles of Train” a listen below.