Stuart Mclean

I’m really saddened to hear about the loss of Stuart Mclean.  Going on the road with the Vinyl Cafe and their incredible team, was a banner tour for the Birds of Chicago.

Vinyl Cafe, Stuart McLean, Birds of Chicago

Vinyl Cafe, Stuart McLean, Birds of Chicago

I received a true education in performance watching Stuart work. At the beginning of the tour, Stuart was sequestered in the back of the bus, writing and sculpting the script. With each show, it would be finessed. Depending on the audience’s reaction, he would adjust the timing of a joke here, or a word there. Each night was new and exciting.

Most importantly, the dream team -Tina Love, Lucas Simonetto, and Jess Milton are some of the most lovely humans around. It was truly an honour to be in their company.

Here’s a link to the show:
http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2671092844

Love in Wartime sessions

Birds of Chicago are wrapping up the fourth and final day of recording at Electrical Audio in Chicago, an incredible studio in Chicago owned by Steve Albini.  BOC’s own JT Nero is co-producing with Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes).

It’s been an terrific experience recording Love in Wartime.  We started tracking on the same day Trump was inaugurated as President.  It feels great to be putting something really joyous and positive out into world.

Recording with Shawna Caspi

I had the pleasure of working with folk songwriter Shawna Caspi with producer Don Kerr (Rheostatics, Ron Sexsmith) at the helm.  Shawna is a wonderful fingerstyle guitarist and songwriter. I recorded with Shawna on her 2012 release “Skyline”.

For this recording, I was covering quite a few fretted instruments : electric guitars, baritone, acoustic, mandolin, dobro, and tenor banjo.  It’s a really fun and rewarding discovery, as Shawna, Don, and I work together to layer the parts and come up with ideas.  We found some cool sound/instrument combinations such as a melody line played on electric guitar, tenor banjo (through amp), and mandolin.  I’ll have to remember that one.

Don has a vibey home studio and gets beautiful warm tones.  It’s a wonderful place to make a record.  Look out for Shawna’s album later this year.