November 12, 2015 - 'Time Flies Like An Arrow, Fruit Flies Like A Banana" (Townes Van Zandt)

Well that was some kinda summer! First off, apologies for the blog-lapse but, as you’ll see, I’ve been busy: I got a new record, Fluke Or Flounder, done, was artist liaison for a multi-festival recording project, attended an artist residency at The Banff Centre, and settled into my new home in Edmonton quite well; working at The Empress Ale House and reacquainting myself with all the fine players this city has to offer with the formation of Prairie Flounder.
On account of all that has happened in the past few months I am going to dispense with my usual long-winded and self-proclaimed elegance and just pass on the facts.
Okay, Fluke Or Flounder. I am very lucky to have an 11-song recording project completed with the guidance of Paul Rigby in the roles of producer and performer. It was recorded and mixed by John Raham at Afterlife Studios and David Carswell at JC/DC with the support of performances by Keith Rose (Bass), David MacAnulty (Drums), Tyler Greentree (Vocals), Ford Pier (Keyboards, Piano), and Shuyler Jansen (Vocals). The songs for this record have been bouncing around for up to 7 seven years while I lived in Glasgow and I have been keen to record them.  There is a wee bit of work to do to get this record out to you but I’m hoping that it won’t be too much longer.
Troubadour Sedan. Local impresario, Miles Wilkinson, invited me along to act as an artist liaison for a project that involved recording live performances from folk festival stages in Alberta and BC that had an Americana or Canadiana focus.  Miles will be putting the recordings we made together for a Radio program that he curates called Troubadour Sedan. I attended festivals in Edmonton, Canmore, and Salmon Arm where I got a unique backstage perspective of many fantastic performances and was lucky to meet some brilliant performers.  There were many standouts but a few stood out even amongst them – Small Glories and Amelia Curran probably impressed me most out of an impressive sample of contenders.
The Banff Centre. I was really lucky to be accepted for a residency at the Banff Centre this Fall. In a life that features many artistic highs, this might so far be the topper. I don’t know if I can adequately express what a rewarding experience this was for me. My residency included a stand-alone cabin with a grand piano and space where my computer and recording equipment was set up. The cabin was set in a wooded area on the edge of Tunnel Mountain and framed by several spectacular mountains. It was Fall and the leaves were in bloom and the weather couldn’t have been nicer. The residency was completely self-directed and I was never under any pressure to perform or produce; the role of the Centre’s staff was to ensure that I had the resources and support to make the most of my stay and they performed this role brilliantly. Add to this companionship of my fellow residents in music, literature, and visual arts, and the opportunity to witness and participate in some inspired performances and works and you’ll begin to understand what a rewarding and validating experience this was. I can’t thank The Banff Centre and the Liz Crockford Artists Fund for this opportunity – it has already borne fruit and will be with me always.
I will add a final note to this blog on my status as an Edmontonian. This is my third stint in Edmonton and in a life full of travel that is saying something.  Edmonton and Edmontonians have always been good to me and despite my fear and loathing of the depths of winter, and the criminally insufficient state of public transportation, I am quite fond of this place and its denizens. Sue Kiernan and Monty Worobec at The Empress Ale House have been incredibly supportive employers and friends – I don’t know how I would have settled back into my life in Canada without their continuing support. I am also really grateful for the welcoming support I am getting from an Edmonton music scene that is chock-full of talent. Presently you can catch me playing In Prairie Flounder which is a rough collection of musicians including Tom Murray, Jason Kodie, Darrek Anderson and Ayla Brook, or performing solo or as a duet along side of Kimberley MacGregor in a series of house concerts and intimate shows.

1 comment

  • Iain Hamilton
    Iain Hamilton Here, there and everywhere
    Can't wait to hear the new collection of songs. You've been having a blast, it seems. Karma's a bitch, but sometimes she pays attention and dishes out good stuff as well to those deserving. Lang may yer lum reek. Ya hoser.

    Can't wait to hear the new collection of songs.

    You've been having a blast, it seems.

    Karma's a bitch, but sometimes she pays attention and dishes out good stuff as well to those deserving.

    Lang may yer lum reek. Ya hoser.

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