To listen, click HERE
I got a call from Kinsey Posen (producer / CBC) this past spring asking if I would be part of a new project CBC was putting together. They wanted to record several Manitoba artists doing the music of other Manitoba artists, and asked if I might record two songs for the project. YES!! CBC has always been enormously supportive of me and I was quite pleased to be invited to participate.
My task was to pick two songs, of other Manitoba songwriters whose work I admired, and come into CBC studios for a couple of days to record. I immediately knew I wanted to cover Gord Johnson’s Stubble and Hay, and Byron O’Donnell’s Greatest Gift (a wedding song). Gord and Byron are both tremendous writers whose work has profoundly influenced mine.
I also was thrilled that I could choose the musicians for the recording and took the opportunity to work with ones I normally don’t get a chance to work with: Joey Landreth (electric guitar) and Meg Dolovitch (bass) are two young musicians who have been burning up the town for the last couple of years. Christian Dugas is currently playing for the Duhks and has already carved his place as one of our city’s great drummers. Zack Antel is the ever-so-worthy go-to guy for keyboards in Winnipeg these days.
We took two days (which is not a lot of time in studio-land) in May and completed both songs. And it was through that experience that I got the itch to start working on a new solo CD for myself. Currently I’m well into that project and both the songs I recorded for CBC will likely be on my new disc (although different versions).
So… all the invited artists have completed their work and the songs are now posted on the CBC website for anyone who wants to check them out. I listened to all the songs this morning as was overwhelmed at what a great community of musicians and songwriters I belong to. I’m intensely proud to be numbered among these, my friends and colleagues. If you want to experience the kind of ferment that I have come out of – this is it. Go to the site. Check out the songs and please use your social networking to get the word out.
Click HERE to listen.
So here’s the “blast from the past” part:
CBC Studio 11 – this is the same studio I recorded the Elias, Schritt and Bell album in 1982.
Kinsey Posen (producer / CBC) – Kinsey was a working musician when I was slugging it out in the bars. Kinsey played bass on my Comfort My People album.
Joe Dudych (engineer CBC) – Joe has over the years been the recording engineer on several projects I’ve been involved with. Joe also did audio editing work for me on the DVD I did with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Christian Dugas – I played clubs with Christian’s father Norm (late 70’s, early 80’s). Norm played keys on the Elias, Schritt and Bell album, and then later on my Christmas album The Feast.
Joey Landreth (guitar) – Joey’s father Wally (Walter to you) was a working musician (bass) in the days I was playing the clubs.
Gord Johnson (songwriter / Stubble and Hay) – Gord befriended me when I was just starting up. Not only has he been among the most influential musicians in my life, he has also had a profound spiritual influence. (Most of the songs on my recent Devotion CD were written by Gord).
Byron O’Donnell (songwriter/Greatest Gift). I played guitar and sang back-ups in Byron’s country band through the mid-eighties. Byron was the one who got me songwriting again in the late 80’s after long arid spell that lasted close to ten years. Byron has co-written songs with me and appeared as a vocalist on my recordings as well. I recorded his song, He Will Know, for my recent album Devotion.
Then there are the other artists who contributed songs and recordings to this project: Alana Levendoski, Graham Shaw, Rick Neufeld, Cara Luft, The Ministers of Cool, Alexa Dirks, Greg Leskiw and many others. These are my peers and colleagues.What I love about this project is that it is not simple nostalgia or sentiment. This is current ferment…
Btw – both songs, Stubble and Hay and Greatest Gift, are being re-recorded to be on my new CD (release date: January 11). You may find it interesting to see how productions morph when songs are recorded again. I’ll keep you posted.