The Tragically Hip ‘Blow At High Dough’
For Orchestra by Walt Ribeiro

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Thought On Tragically Hip Blow At High Dough

“The taxi driver likes his rhythm, never likes the stops”

Not too many people outside of Canada know about The Hip. I was one of them, until a few months ago when a friend told me to check them out. It’s been a while since I arranged a rock song, and so I was excited to tackle this piece head on, and introduce you guys to something different, too.

The violins are aggressive, the vibraphones take the place of the acoustic guitar, and the brass are front and center to pay tribute to the single off their 1989 debut album Up To Here.

And that’s what I learned through this song. That there is so much out there that I don’t know about, and it’s the discovery of new things sometimes 20 years later - either through friends, or websites, or random shows - that makes art so awesome. It’s not just the product that makes it unique, it’s the whole experience.

When I was younger I remember driving to Full Circle Records, my local (and
now defunct) CD store, every day after school. The owner Mike introduced me to so much music that’s it’s a big reason I’m a musician today. I skipped classes to hang out there all afternoon, I spent every last dollar I had in that place, and I met so many interesting musicians during that time.

Discovery was what made music so interesting, it’s what made the personal connection so authentic, and it’s what made that store so special to me.

So to relive that experience was nostalgic, and I was excited to capture that in this arrangement. It felt good to rock out again.