Here In The New Great Game

“Some people are so self-assured they’re busy tearing it up, their bust burning it down - burn it down.”

That’s a line from my single Dictator and it has been described as an anthem at a time when we’ve never needed anything more. I suppose the Trump comparisons are warranted, although the song was written years ago. As is often the case, the true meaning behind a song is often only revealed years later if at all.

In this blog post i want to talk about the story behind my latest album, the place i’ve arrived at in my music career, and the times we are all living in currently: a time of fear, uncertainty and amazing potential.

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The 45th Election For President !

About My Song Dictator

I’ve been asked to share a few words about the concepts and themes of my new record “the New Great Game” on this 8th of November release day and 45th presidential election. Yes 45: there have been 45 presidents of the United States - somehow that doesn’t seem like that many to me. History stretches back but I’m not sure about how far it goes. The heartbreaking narrative of Ken Burn’s Civil War series or his handling of the Second World War seems to chillingly suggest that these events came to pass in a not so distant past. In the 1990s I remember dressing up like a hippie, and in the 70s and 80s they tried to get back to the authenticity and simplicity of 1950s rock and roll. 50s rock and rollers didn’t want to end up like their parents that lived through a couple of wars and the great depression. The years may pass us by, but the game remains very much the same.

On my song Dictator which comes out today, I sing the following:

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New Music and Shows

I'm excited to announce I will be releasing new music, coupled with a run of shows to round off the year.

Music called from the Murray Lightburn (The Dears) produced sessions for the "the New Great Game" will be seeing the light of day very shortly after years of gestation. Featuring Michel Pepin on guitar (Sarah Mclachlin, Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks) and all-star band The Hurricane, this is the biggest sounding collection of music I've ever put together. I wanted to make my Damn the Torpedoes, my Born to Run, my Teeth Dreams, my biggest-baddest-rock-record-I-could-muster: I gave everything I had on this album, and swung as hard as I could.

shows:

Here is the current list of dates surrounding release of this new music

Nov 25th - Toronto - The Central

Nov 26th Wakefield - Kafe 1870

Nov 27st - Ottawa - Shanghai Restaurant


The New Great Game

Big News Coming Next Week !

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Running Up That Hill

When I was about 10 (must have been 1987?) I was obsessed with 2 pop albums that I heard on the radio: Peter Gabriel's "So", and Kate Bush "Hounds of Love." I'm not sure why but Hounds has always just made the hair on my arms stand up and made me feel super emotional. It had this crazy run of 5 songs off the top of the record that will just wreck you. One of them is Running Up That Hill. Its funny how the true meaning of a song will only reveal itself to you over time, as your own experiences reveal the layers that went previously undetected. Or maybe I'm just paying more attention to lyrics these days - I don't know. Either way here is my version of "Running Up That Hill." Since I have been focused on improving my one man band approach as of late, I thought this song would pose an appropriate level of difficulty and help me figure out the inner workings of Ableton Live and my Boss RC-300 looper. Sorry that it gets cut off at the end - too much rambling at the beginning and the camera couldn't handle it! :)

Special thanks to Kent for the perfect guitar accompaniment :)


Outsiders

Father John

I little while ago I read an interesting piece on Father John Misty where he said the only role he can imagine for himself is that of the "Outsider." He even looks the part with his Jim Morrison look and big beard. I don't know much about the artist, although I heard him do a pretty workmanlike cover of a Nirvana song once on the radio, but he seems like a really interesting guy, and I found his use of the term Outsider sparked something in me.

More and more these days I have been thinking its the only way I can relate to myself in the world.

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Fall Tour Dates!!

Still....

Ladies and gentlemen I'm beyond jazzed to announce a fall tour is in the works!!

It's been a ridiculous uphill climb since I got back from tour last May, and on one occasion I literally found myself in tears sitting on the floor, but I've decided to keep moving forward despite it all. That's what the battered and bruised fighter on the cover of "Brace for Impact" would want. I'm a fuckin fighter and I will not be killed - at least not in 2015.

Here is the up-to-date list of Ontario tour dates!

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Brace for Impact: Why I am So Battered and Bruised... Emotionally

If you have seen any of my recent press photos, you may noticed that I look pretty beat up, like somebody kicked my ass in a back alley! Despite what a few people who commented on facebook might have thought, the cuts and bruises aren’t real! At least not on the outside.

BFI image

In this blog post I’m going to tell you about the scars inside, the life of a musician, and where I find my motivation to keep making music.

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Ryan Adams Is My Buddy On Twitter

It was the summer of 2014 and Andrew Johnston and the Hurricane were set to play another one of our celebrated artist tribute nights at Bistro de Paris in Montreal, this time in tribute to the great Ryan Adams. One of the songs that I knew had to go on the setlist was “La Cienga Just Smiled.”

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Brace for Impact Spring Tour !

I am excited to officially announce tour dates for the upcoming Brace for Impact tour! If you are in any of these cities in Ontario we would love to see you out at the shows.

We are also incredibly lucky to get to share the stage with the great Mike Evin who will be coming out with us for 3 dates (Toronto, Saint Catherines and Hamilton).

More details to come!

BFI Tour poster