Not Ready To Go by The Trews: Songs in the Key of Mutiny
I first found out about the Canadian band, The Trews, the old-fashioned way: I heard a song on the radio, and waited for the announcer to come on to say who the artist had been. That was probably around 2008 or 2009. I quickly investigated the band and fell in love with their music almost immediately.
The Voice in My Head … on CD
The Trews have an almost spooky way of releasing music that resonates with me, both lyrically and tonally, at the exact time can most relate to it. An example of that would be their album, “Hope & Ruin,” which was released in 2011, shortly after I’ve been separated from my marriage and on my way to divorce. I ended up clinging to that record like a life preserver. Some of the songs on that album resonated with me so deeply and profoundly, that my deep love of the band was cemented forever.
They did it again a few years later when they released their self-titled album, many of the songs speaking directly to things that I was feeling and experiencing at that exact time.
A Rock & Roll Revival
I remember going to see the Trews in concert exactly one week to the day after I found out that my now ex-wife had entered into another relationship while we were still married. I will never forget that night with my buddy Paul, The Trews music washing over me as if I were part of some sort of revival. Songs like “So She’s Leaving,” “Poor Ol Broken Hearted Me,” “Yearning” and “Ishmael and Maggie” spoke directly to my very spirit (the latter song offering the line, “He who expects nothing never will be disappointed. Nothing’s what she left me so I guess I’m okay”).
Having said all that, I still haven’t mentioned the song “Not Ready To Go.” In fact, I hadn’t even really taken to that song yet, though I was aware of it. “Not Ready” had been a mild radio hit here in Canada years before I ever discovered the band. And although they are easily either my second or third favorite musical group (behind only Extreme and in competition with Volbeat), I probably have only listened to the studio cut of “Not Ready To Go” maybe a half-dozen times, if that. And it’s a pretty simple tune that is even a little overly repetitive in the chorus. But at some point along the way, they released a five or six-song Live EP that included a live version of “Not Ready To Go.” That was around the time of the “Hope and Ruin” album, so it coincided with me re-engineering my life. I loved the live version of that track, and listened to it constantly.
The Songs of Your Life – This is One of Mine
In the fall of that year, still trying to put my life back together, I was working at a job that I absolutely despised. But every other Friday at 5 o’clock, I would get to leave that job, get in my car, and make the trek across the city to go pick up my two boys. It was the happiest that I would feel, as it was the time of the week that I had the most minutes in front of me to be with my two boys and also the longest time before I had to go back to that job on Monday morning. For at least a couple of months, I would put that live version of “Not Ready To Go” on the stereo in my car while I was on my way to get my kids. They loved it too. Naturally, it is an easy song to sing along with, and it become synonymous with the thing I love most: being with my kids. It became a sort of anthem for the three of us for a while.
At some point along the way, the band began performing the song live and transitioning into the Humble Pie Song, “30 Days in the Hole,” and then back into their own song again. Their version of “30 Days” sounds much different than the original, but it fits with “Not Ready to Go,” and in my opinion, adds a lot to it. I find that when the song transitions from “Not Ready to Go” and into “30 Days in the Hole,” it picks up a different kind of kinetic feeling as soon as Colin sings, “Chicago Green …” I can’t be the only fan of The Trews who is aching for them to record and release a high-quality live version of that mashup. But so far, YouTube clips in concert experiences have had to suffice.
One of the versions that can be seen if you search it on YouTube is when they welcomed Serena Ryder onto the stage to help perform the song. Ryder is a highly accomplished musician in her own right, and she lends her voice to a duet on a beautiful Trews song called “In The Morning,” which is on The Trews’ self-titled album. And at least once, she joined them on stage for “Not Ready to Go,” and sang lead for some of the “30 Days in the Hole” part. When I saw that, something in me clicked with the thought that I would one day perform with a band and do that song. I have friend who is also an accomplished musician who I think would be terrific at doing the Humble Pie part. And as for the rest of the song in general, it’s a straight-ahead, driving rock tune that I think people would enjoy, and for me it would probably feel like a celebration of how much that song and that band has meant in transitioning through so many different phases of life.
From Healing to Celebration
Even just writing this article, my mind and emotions are being cast back to some things that I haven’t thought about for many years. One might even suspect that reflecting back on some painful memories like separation and divorce would be unwelcome and unpleasant. To the contrary, The Trews and their music have served as one of those lights that I was able to follow, something that always brought pleasure and strength. I’d like to do what I can to recognize and honour that and show my sincere appreciation for the band and their part in helping shape who I am today.
For that reason, “Not Ready to Go,” by The Trews absolutely has to be considered one of my songs in the key of mutiny.
What’s Your Song?
Do you have a song like this – one that played through so many key moments of your life? What is it? Let us know in the comments below, and if you’d like to follow along to see how this Mutineer project develops, please join our Email Crew by clicking here.