Vinyl Cafe Coast to Coast
Stuart McLean
2 CD set
CBC Records

Vinyl Cafe Coast to Coast if the fifth double CD set of Stuart McLean’s funny stories. The show itself is an hour long feast of eclectic music by known and unknown musicians with the cherry on top being Stuart McLean telling yet another funny story about Dave, the owner of the Vinyl Cafe, a used record store, Morley, his wife, their two kids, and their neighbors. To those unfamiliar with either Stuart McLean or The Vinyl Cafe, imagine Garrison Keillor without the self-righteousness and News From Lake Wobegon without the sometimes preachy and religious content. Vinyl Cafe Coast to Coast is proof that you can tell a funny story about people without getting politics or religion mixed in as is so often the case with News From Lake Wobegon.

Vinyl Cafe Coast to Coast is a two comedy CD set, as are all of the Vinyl Cafe releases except the first. Disc one has the funny story of Dave babysitting after his daughter, Stephanie, falls sick. What is funny in that story is that Dave ends up babysitting in a home where the parents are of the crunchy granola variety and the kids have never had overdoses of sugar or television. Morley’s Birthday Bash, the second cut, is, as usual, a funny story about Dave’s wife, Morley, having her birthday party turn into a welcome wagon kind of affair after a series of mix-ups with the caterer. The third story is about Dave giving a speech at a friend’s music appreciation class. Dave being an old roadie, you would think he could tell a good story but it takes a while for him to get there and that is what is funny in this story.

Stuart McLean continues exploring the world of the Vinyl Cafe on the second disc in this collection. Kenny Wong’s Practical Jokes is a brilliant, very funny story about pranks pulled on Kenny Wong by Dave and pranks pulled on Dave by Kenny Wong in a April Fools tradition. The heart of the story, however, is how all this started way back when Kenny Wong, of Kenny Wong’s Scottish Meat Pies, was a kid in the prairies and his father, the only Chinese business man around was a victim of racial slurs until he fought back in the most unusual and subtle way. It is with a track like this and the last track on Vinyl Cafe Coast to Coast, Christmas with Rasheeda and Ahmeer, that you can see the major difference between the world depicted by Stuart McLean on The Vinyl Cafe and the all-Lutheran or Protestant world Keillor portrays in his funny stories about Lake Wobegone. Christmas With Rasheeda and Ahmeer is a story of gift giving gone wrong in a neighborhood when all of the neighbors suddenly feel obligated, because of a funny incident, to give each other Christmas gifts.

Vinyl Cafe Coast to Coast is a great two comedy CD collection of very funny stories told by a personable and agenda-less funny story teller, Stuart McLean.

Other Vinyl Cafe Releases

Vinyl Cafe Stories

Vinyl Cafe Odd Jobs


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