- Posted By: email@example.com
- November 28th, 2013
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In 2013 I had the pleasure of producing a few albums I’m very proud of. Two of them I won’t mention yet as the artists have yet to announce them. But in the first quarter of the year I worked with a singer/songwriter (coincidentally from my hometown of Windsor, Ontario but now living in Stratford) that I’d only previously worked with as a guitarist. I played on Lara MacMillan’s Miss Mercury, her debut recording from several years ago produced by Stew Crookes. Stew did an unbelievable job taking less-than-perfect recordings handed to him mid-project from many different sessions and studios around Toronto and making it sound full, rich, consistent and punchy revealing both the beauty and attitude sides of Lara’s music.
Last year, when Lara sent me her home demos for what she was planning to record for her next record I was immediately drawn to its drama, adventure and vulnerability. I felt that a cinematic treatment could really complement this collection of music. There is classic songwriting here, sometimes reminiscent of Carole King, Burt Bacharach, James Taylor but modern references like Fiona Apple and Aimee Mann also come to mind. We chose to work from a wide sonic pallet, utilizing horns (Bryden Baird), strings (Drew Jurecka), synths, and many types of guitars over the solid and intuitive bass and drums of Mark McIntyre and Roger Travassos.
Recently the core band (Lara, Roger, Mark and myself) played a few shows in Ontario in honour of Lara’s sophomore self-titled disc. It’s about time more people heard about this record.
Here is the first track from the record entitled Victory Cafe.
Victory Cafe – Lara MacMillan
Finishing the show at Mackenzie Hall in Windsor, Ontario. Mark McIntyre, Lara MacMillan, me, Roger Travassos
Last week I got together with my friends David Myles (whose career with Classified is currently on fire!) and Joshua Van Tassel to play a couple of of David’s tunes in Josh’s backyard. Mitch Fillion from Southern Souls came out to shoot the video and Josh’s dog Samwise provided moral support. Thanks to David for inviting me to play bass. I wish I did that more often.
Austin City Limits Festival 2011
It’s my favourite time to play music in Canada – summer music festival time. The season kicks off this weekend with Regina Jazz Festival and Luminato Festival. Here are the festivals I’m currently scheduled to be playing over the next few months.
June 14 w/ Royal Wood
Regina Jazz Festival – Regina SK
June 15 w/ Sarah Harmer
Luminato Festival – Toronto ON
June 24 & 25 w/ Royal Wood
Sask Jazz Festival – Saskatoon SK
June 29 w/ Royal Wood
Vancouver Jazz Festival – Victoria BC
June 30 w/ Royal Wood
Victoria Jazz Festival – Victoria BC
July 6 w/ Sarah Harmer
IlluminAqua Folk Festival – Welland ON
July 20 w/ Sarah Harmer & Royal Wood
Home County Festival – London ON
July 27 w/ Sarah Harmer
Interstellar Rodeo Festival – Edmonton AB
August 7 w/ Royal Wood
Peterborough Music Festival – Peterborough ON
August 24 w/ Rose Cousins
Windsong Festival – Powassan ON
Further details and additional dates on the SHOWS page.
Over a year ago my friend and frequent musical collaborator Adam Warner invited me over to listen to some tunes he had been working on with veteran Toronto singer/songwriter Eugene Ripper. I listened to slow echoes of Paul Westerberg (Replacements), Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello and though I have always been a fan of these artists I’d yet to work on anything like this. Eugene’s songs and personality were immediately compelling so then and there we entered into a musical arrangement having me producing his next album.
Most of these songs I believe had been lying around for some years simply not having fit properly into previous releases while others were donned with entirely different tempos and moods. The adjective “dreamy” was tossed into the air and that’s where we built the framework for the production of what are essentially classic sounding pop/folk tunes. This collection of 8 songs ended up as the 2013 release Fast Folk Underground III / Quiet Light.
While I played a bunch of stuff on this album it was graciously adorned with sounds from Adam Warner (drums, percussion, vocals), Bryden Baird (horns, piano, organ), Julie Fader (vocals). I hope you’ll check out this album. It’s pretty special.
Tonight (May 24) we give the album a proper launch with a live performance at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto at 7:30 p.m.