Buckman Coe brings activism into music

Vancouver-based singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, Buckman Coe, is coming to Golden to play at the Taps on Feb. 6.

A quote attributed to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche states: “Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” A perfect example of the resolute handful Nietzsche was generically referring to is the Vancouver-based singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, Buckman Coe, who is coming to Golden to play at the Taps on Feb. 6.

A passionate activist and believer in the power of music and art to help shape a brighter future, Coe chose his path long ago. And as he follows it, he will remain in stoic pursuit of his goal to effect positive change for as long as there is breath in his body.

Plucked from the sweet pop-reggae cut “Stubborn Man,” from the January 2013 EP release, Crow’s Nest (Tonic/Fontana North), as far as Coe is concerned the lyric above is no naïve hippie idealism. Based on the inspirational musician’s faith in the human spirit to prevail in these tense, uncertain times, it is a plain-as-day truism and typical of the optimism Coe brings to his acclaimed music.

Sun-kissed folk-rock; gospel-tinged soul; intoxicating world-beat melodies, and a decidedly West Coast psychedelic pop sensibility all play a part in providing the sonic platform for Coe’s socially conscious lyrics.

His fourth release since debuting with the Windhorse mini-album in 2005, Crow’s Nest displays a diverse range of Coe’s musical influences and talents.

In the epic closer “Kingdom Come” alone, a driving reggae beat meets flamenco guitar motifs and Middle Eastern melodies to underpin a dramatic vocal performance. Like 2012’s full-length, By the Mountain’s Feet, the EP is crisply produced by Jason Kechely and features Brian Minato (bass/guitar), Michael Rush (upright bass), Chris Gestrin (keyboards), Jon Roper (electric guitar) and Sam Cartwright (drums) in rock solid support.

Of the lyrical inspirations for Crow’s Nest, Coe says: “I wrote these songs in response to the threat the Pacific Northwest faces with proposed (oil) pipelines, an old friend’s story about Japan after the Tsunami, and of course with a little bit of time dedicated to love, growing food and getting spiritually psychedelic… It’s about taking control of our lives and the world around us through compassion, joy and a kick-ass attitude based on a stubborn commitment to righteousness and compassion.”