I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. It’s been 6 lively years since I released my last album Citysong in Montreal.
Montreal was really good to me. I initially went out there at the end of 2002 to record my second album Citysong with production wizard and pal Michael McCann and stayed until the end of 2007. Once there, I met several talented musicians, who became my good friends. I was awed by their commitment to music and writing. I can’t deny that I miss the looseness of life there. Being able to meet up with a friend any time of day for a tall can of Grolsch, casually bought from the depanneur, and the chance to share a new song with discerning ears. None-the-less, I eventually began to pine for the roots I had left back out West. I felt too removed from family and old friends.
From 2006 and 2007 I had a monthly songwriting residence at The Green Room in the Mile End Cultural Centre. This was a generous opportunity for me to experiment with different musicians, perform live with film, share the stage with other songwriters and showcase new songs. By the end of my residency I had a collection of new songs I was restless to record. Before leaving Montreal in 2007, I worked diligently with producer and musician Rick Coluccio to record a full-length album on a demo budget. We spent hours painstakingly arranging the songs and playing around with production in Rick’s home studio and the DKD studio. Eventually we ran out of money and time. The album was full of creative ideas and arrangements, but the recording was not refined enough to be released as an album. In the interim, I moved back to Calgary, spent time with family and old friends, performed with the whimsically brilliant Lovebullies and wrote a couple of new songs. However there was no need to fret over a recording lost, the House of Sticks demo ended up peaking the interest of RAWLCO radio and in 2009 they sponsored the recording of the full LP.
I got the call from RAWLCO just two days before my wedding. It is an understatement to say that I was over the moon. Finally, I began to record House of Sticks in the spring of 2010 at Audities with David Kean; whom I had met through the Lovebullies. The album took some time to record because I was back to working full-time. David was incredibly accommodating and saw me on evenings and weekends. It was a labour of love for both of us. We recorded with the ultimate 6-string wizard Russ Broom, my band comprised of Katherine Fraser, Adam Tindale & Martin Winter, Cam Demman, Dale Ulan, Paul Gogo and, of course, a couple of the Lovebullies.
With the recording completed, it was time to bring the artwork into play. While in Montreal, my good friend, musician Amanda Mabro, turned me onto the work of artist and musician Edmund Lam. Walking down St-Laurent it seemed as if I saw his posters on every second lamp post. I have been a big fan of his for some time and I knew that I wanted him to design both the website and album – which I am completely thrilled with.
It has taken an army of talent and commitment to make this album happen and I am so grateful to everyone who has been a part of it. So, here I am, looking forward to recreating the album live on Saturday, March 19th at the Local 522 in Calgary. Hope you can make it!