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Sheepdogs Get the Blessing of Canadian Prime Minister

Choose the Cover contenders meet with Stephen Harper at show in Ottawa

May 12, 2011 11:45 AM ET

Photograph by Deb Ransom

Stephen Harper, the recently re-elected Prime Minister of Canada, stopped by the Sheepdogs' show in Ottawa on Sunday. After the gig, Harper and his wife, Laureen, posed for a photo with the band and wished them well in their bid to win a recording contract with Atlantic Records and appear on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Choose the Cover of Rolling Stone: Vote Now!

Harper isn't the first Canadian politician to get behind the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan boogie rockers – last month, Pat Atkinson, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, gave a speech urging her colleagues to vote for the band in the Choose the Cover contest.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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