Dapper Toronto bass player Jeff Jones, who plays behind both Burton Cummings and Tom Cochrane, had a wild time playing with both in central Manitoba within two days.
On Saturday, he played outdoors with Burton Cummings after a downpour. “But the crowd was big and they were great — very enthusiastic,” he said of the stalwart folk at Steinbach’s Summer in the City. Later in the night, Cummings showed up for a bite at the Sals on Pembina and Stafford, where he has a financial stake.
On Monday night, Jones put on his suit jacket again — no T-shirts for this rocker — and played with Tom Cochcrane and Red Rider. Burton was casually seated a half-dozen rows back, and a buzz was running through the crowd. “Burton and Tom know each other, of course, so Burton had been asked ahead to come up and join Tom for a few songs,” chuckled Jones. The number that blew everyone’s mind began with Cummings, who’s a big Ray Charles fan, starting up Hit the Road Jack with a killer “Oh woman, oh woman, don’t you treat me so mean!” Then he picked up a tambourine and sang background for Cochrane’s goin’-down-the-road hit Life is a Highway.
Psst! Rascal Flatts, the country band, recorded Cochrane’s No. 1 song too, and the giant royalties allowed Cochrane to treat himself to a second home in Austin, Texas. Ditto for Burton Cummings and his Tuxedo home after Lenny Kravitz re-recorded American Woman. Nothing like re-runs!