If there’s anyone among our readers who have heard the phrase “country music is a contradiction in terms” and agreed with it, you need to see this video of CN’s Project Together, in which 14 employees from across the railroad’s Canadian/U.S. network “contemplated a common bond through music.” It’s as well done and tasty as a Montreal smoked meat sandwich or a bowl of New Orleans gumbo. It even had me, who turns up the volume of Stan Kenton’s blaring big band jazz for musical fulfillment, tapping my foot and smiling. CN’s got some talented people, and it’s gratifying to see them enjoying a healthy work/personal life balance.
The production, which begins with an inspiring Canadian First Nations drumming touch, comes straight out of Addiction Sound Studios in Nashville, Tenn., on CN’s former Illinois Central main line. The Project Together tune has a whole lot more energy than Arlo Guthrie’s fabled City of New Orleans, a rather somber song about the “disappearing railroad blues.” The feeling is downright positive. Granted, there are enough of you out there, especially you union folks, who might look at this with a strong dose of skepticism, but give it a try. (Access the video at the bottom of this article.)
These CN railroaders are a diverse group from all over the system, agreement and non-agreement. They worked with several renowned professional musicians and producers. I tell you, they ought to be on stage at the Grand Ole Opry! Here they are:
CEO Tracy Robinson even makes an uncredited cameo appearance. See if you can spot her. (Hint: She’s in a couple of the ensemble shots.)
CN, as we know, is Canadian National. Here, though, it’s “Canadian Nashville.”
Enough said. Here’s the video: