As weird, wild and wacky 2021 has been, it hasn't been all bad.
A major silver lining for me has been spending time with songwriting again.
In May, we released Mave's Variety: my first full-length album I'm real proud of.
Legend has it, if musicians spend enough time around the roaring waters of Niagara Falls, they end up making music in various shades of blue.
If you time it right, the drive from Niagara to Ottawa is 5 hours on the dot. Strange and unpredictable things happen in Canada's capital. For instance, you might learn your neighbour (Benny Gutman) is a top-notch musician from Romania and that he, too, has the blues. You dig around Wakefield, Kemptville, Shawville: all blues towns.
Then one morning you find yourself in New Orleans, Louisiana surrounded by rhythm and tradition; old, new, borrowed blues - the kind that shake you. You order another coffee, write your legal limit of songs in the French Quarter and shove them in your suitcase. Back home, you find a barn in Chelsea, Quebec to record those Southern songs (NOLA 2010 EP).
A warm breeze blows and you end up on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee sharing the songs you wrote in New Orleans with the blues guy from Romania you met in Ottawa. The blues will keep you occupied!
You stop for lunch in Hamilton. A global pandemic brings new shades of blue so you call that Ottawa friend and meet for a studio weekend in Toronto to record 'Mave's Variety'. You bring some Niagara accomplices, too.
Believe it - it's all true.
Released May 21, 2021.
Written in Hamilton, Ontario. Recorded live off-the floor at Banquet Sound Studio in Toronto, Ontario.
Produced by Joe Stracuzzi.
Musicians: Benny Gutman, James Gizzie, Andrew Barbisan, Bob Goodall, Jessica Panetta, Taylor Hulley, Laurel Minnes
Written in New Orleans, Louisiana. Recorded live off-the-floor in Chelsea, Quebec.
Produced by James Stephens.
Musicians: Benny Gutman, Matt MacKinnon, Ueli Dorig, Eddie Dupont, Brian Sanderson, Al Wood