When I opened my computer this morning, Facebook informed me that today is the first day of spring! Changing of the seasons….
I’m currently living in Southern Mexico, where changing seasons aren’t as obvious. Although that being said, we recently had a torrential rainstorm here in the middle of dry season. Locals said it was extremely rare. It was spectacular! Thunder and lightening – and a deluge! Just days later, all the dry, dormant trees have sprouted green! Bright, beautiful green!
And so we spring forward….
I’m happy to announce that Clear Day has been nominated for two Juno Awards. It’s up for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year, and Steve Webster and I have been nominated for Producers of the Year. While I’m extremely pleased to have received both nominations, the Producer of the Year nomination is especially exciting. For Steve and I to be acknowledged as a team is a huge honour. We truly lived and breathed this album together. We conceived of the concept here in Mexico on Zipolite Beach almost two years ago. I can’t even begin to count the number of hours we spent on this project, but it’s safe to say that we worked on it in some way every single day until its release last October, when the work shifted to promoting it. We discussed every single measure of music, considered every note. The singing pushed me harder than I’ve ever pushed myself before. I tried and failed. Tried again and failed, before I was able to sing some of these songs – like La Llorona and On a Clear Day – in the way that we had imagined them. Interestingly those are the two songs that are specified in the Producer category. I think that they are a good example of the the scope of this record both musically and logistically – the elements involved in having 75 musicians playing on a track, among other things.
The Junos will be in Calgary this year, and we’ll be heading there in a couple of weeks. As part of JunoFest I’ll be playing a show at the Ironwood, 11pm on April 1st. My band and I will be joined by some special Juno-nominated guests – saxophonists Tara Davidson, and Allison Au.
On April 2nd Steve and I will participate in a producer panel moderated by John ‘Beetle’ Bailey, who recorded the rhythm section on Clear Day at his studio The Drive Shed. One of the panel participants is legendary producer Bob Ezrin (!!) Among an incredible list of artists and albums that Bob Ezrin has produced (Google him!) is one album that is very important to Steve and I. Peter Gabriel’s Scratch My Back. This album was so influential and inspiring to us that we actually tracked down arranger/orchestrator John Metcalfe to do some work on Clear Day (Fix You, Under Pressure). Scratch My Back is a masterpiece thanks to the genius of Peter Gabriel, John Metcalfe, and Bob Ezrin!! And I’m looking forward to telling him this in person. I’ll try not to gush.
Later that night, we’ll attend the Juno Awards Gala, where the majority of the awards (including our categories) will be handed out. This is a non-televised event, but will be available for live-streaming. I’ll try to remember to post the link on Facebook.
I wanted to update those of you who pre-ordered Clear Day on vinyl via the Pledge Music page. What I started referring to as VinylQuest 2015 because of a series of setbacks, has now rolled over into VinylQuest 2016. It’s almost comical at this point. I had posed a question to the buyers to see if they would like a refund, or if they would be willing to wait while I sorted it out. Everyone who responded was in the latter camp. Audiophiles are so patient! I am still working on it, and the most recent test pressing we received sounded really good! I really hope we are getting close to being able to fulfill those orders.
High Resolution Audio
Speaking of audiophiles, I wanted to formally announce that 2xHD has recently released a High Resolution version of Clear Day. It’s available in the following formats on the following sites: (much of my catalogue too!)
DSD, FLAC, 192k/24bit, 96k/24bit
That’s it for now – Joy Spring everyone !