The Best Tracks of 2019, #16


16. BA Johnston, “We’re All Going To Jail (Except Pete, He’s Gonna Die)”

BA Johnston is the Stompin’ Tom Connors for skids. He sings about post-millennial Canadiana: GST cheques, regional beer, No Frills, and discounted bacon, usually shirtless, and more often than not, rolling around on the floor of your neighbourhood pub. For all his hijinks, BA is a clever dude and a born entertainer, and he put out one of his catchiest – and funniest – songs in 2019, in the form of a cautionary tale about dropping acid at a Van Halen concert at the former Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto. And I have my own special memory of this particular song: when my wife and I saw BA play this past spring, he started “We’re All Going to Jail” and I went, “I love this song!” and scooted from our table to the crowd by the stage. As I went in that direction, BA headed in the opposite, and proceeded to bellow the song from our table as Stacey did her best to keep our beers from spilling. It produced a classic photo, and I still giggle about that show to this day.