WITH the likes of Bob Dylan and Chris Martin vocal in their admiration for him, Ron Sexsmith is not short on acclaim. But what he’d really like is a hit single.
“I’m proud of my albums, but I’ve had a lot of commercial failure,” says the Canadian troubadour, who kicks off his UK tour at the HMV Picture House on Tuesday. “The records have not broken through in a way.”
Frustrated with the lack of widespread success, Sexsmith paired up with the fantastically named Bob Rock - producer of Michael Bublé - for last year’s Long Player Late Bloomer.
The pair first met a few years ago at the Junos [Canada’s music awards], explains Sexsmith. “I ran into Bob at the curb waiting for a car to take us to one of the after-parties. ’Know any good producers?’ I asked jokingly. He told me he was a fan, but I hear that sometimes and I’m sceptical.”
At the same party was Bublé, who had just worked with Rock on his album Crazy Love. “He told me Bob was a pop producer and that he’d be great for me,” says Sexsmith. “That put the idea into my head of sending him the songs to see if there was any interest. Bob’s assistant got right back saying he loved the songs.”
Long Player Late Bloomer has been receiving plenty of radioplay - though it’s yet to spawn any big hits.
“I’ve always been trying to make pop records and all my heroes had hit records,” says Sexsmith. “When I was growing up, people I loved like Elton John and Joni Mitchell were essentially album artists who also had hits.
“My main objective was always to make cohesive albums but a lot of my stuff sounds like what I would like to hear on the radio. I was probably born at the wrong time.”
Ron Sexsmith, HMV Picture House, Lothian Road, Tuesday, 7pm, £22, 0844-847 1740