Monday, March 19, 2018

Wearing my Producer Hat This Winter

It has been a busy winter. In a different sort of way from last year when I was touring in the southern US. I'm taking a bit of a break from touring this year( except for my annual Western Canadian tour in September/October) and this winter I have been focused in large part on other people's music. Doing the producer thing. It has been a fun and fulfilling experience.

I realized when working on Al Duquette's solo record (released last May and available for purchase here *wink wink nudge nudge *) the skills I had honed over the past twenty years of producing my own records, and how I could be of help in other artists' creative process. I also realized it is quite a thing to make a record, and any artist with the gumption and the drive to make it happen should be applauded for it. And supported in their endeavor.

Speaking of which, one of the artists I've been working with, Chris Morris, has a preorder campaign underway for his album ( release concert is April 14th at The Mansion in Kingston, ON). It's his first record ever! And it sounds awesome. Folk music vibe mixed with a Rockabilly, Blues edge. I had a lot of fun working on this. In addition to producing, I also play electric guitar, bass, and dobro on the album. Some familiar Kingston musicians also make an appearance: Jon McLurg, Pete Jozsa, Al Duquette, and Bonz Bowering. Head over to Chris' indiegogo page and preorder a disc, and if you're in the Kingston area, grab a ticket for the release show. Bonz and I will be playing in the band and I'll mst likely be performing a set of my own material that night.

The other record I have been working is Sandy Stubbert's. Sandy has had a bit of a break between albums ( 19 years!), so needless to say we are all pretty excited about this one. Some top-notch talent on this record. Bonz Bowering(drum kit, conga), Seamus Cowan ( upright bass, backing vocals), Dan Chalmers (conga), Saskia Tompkins(viola, cello, nyckelharpa), Michelle Monette(electric guitar), Kathryn Vileda(backing vocals), Attila Baraczka(electric bass), Frank Baraczka(drum kit, tambourines), Sandra Bouza(backing vocals), Tony Silvestri(piano, rhodes, Hammond organ) Rodney St. Amand( fretless bass), Tracie Morgan( backing vocals), Jim Tomlinson(acoustic guitar, vocals), and Gary Barratt(drum kit, conga). Holy Moly!! That's a full production folks.

And of course you can add Sandy (vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo) and myself ( electric guitar, backing vocals) to that list. We still have some work to do on this record, but I can tell you, it is sounding great so far. Zane and Dylan at North of Princess studio are great to work with and the facility is top-notch. It has been fun spending so much time there the past couple of months. Stay tuned for an update on the album release schedule.

As for my music, my schedule is filling up and I'm out playing shows. Solo, duo, trio, and with the Tony Silvestri Band. Looking at changing things up with TSB and adding more original music to the mix. Yet another work in progress. I'm excited about the possibilities of what we might come up with musically.

And if you haven't bought Everything Intertwined yet, please do it! Help a guy buy some groceries over here! ; )

But if you don't have the $$, you can help out by following/listening on Spotify.

Rock and roll!


Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Another year comes to its close. And what a year it was! Played many a show in many a place. Made the most of my US work visa with shows in D.C., Florida, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Add to that my usual Canadian stops and that means a lot of clicks on the ol' Sienna. Around 70000 Km(43495 miles). There is nothing like getting out there and performing live to hone your craft, and as hard as it is to be away from home, I get a real sense that this is what I am on this planet to do when I'm on the road. So, thank you to everyone who booked me, and everyone who came out to the shows and supported my music this year. You're helping me get a little bit better every time I hit that stage.

2017 also saw the release of a new album. Everything Intertwined has been very well-received by critics and fans, and that makes me happy (especially the fans part). I took a bit of a creative chance with the record, shifting away from an Americana sound to a more Rock-oriented record. Though I'm still getting Townes Van Zandt comparisons, so maybe not as far as I thought. Perhaps it's the depressing lyrics they're talking about. Haha.

"subtly brilliant…highly recommended" - Winnipeg Free Press

"Coming on like a rocking, later day Townes Van Zandt, Savage colors outside the lines with tales of those living beyond the margins. Every generation needs one who holds up the fun house mirror to the absurdities and this is a cult hero for our times"- Midwest Record Review

"we are dealing with a brilliant poet and troubadour" - Country Jukebox

"Recommended to those who still believe in Roots Rock power and poetry" - Lonestar Time

If you haven't listened to the record yet, you can stream it to your heart's content on Spotify. It would be great if you could follow my artist page and save the album to your music. Helps spread the word in a weird algorithmic way. Also on Apple Music, Bandcamp, etc.

Another really cool thing that happened this year was the release of the record I produced for Al Duquette called "Tales of the Wild West". Al is the real deal and this is a very fine collection of old time Country songs. Give it a listen

Hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.

See you in 2018!