Coda Many Colors
The picture Sean Murphy chose to provide a quick cover for Coda Many Colors probably serves as a broad hint as to the reason I so named the album. Time is awasting and does bring you eventually to the point where you don’t know how much more of it you are likely to get. This could be the last album of songs I put out. It is my usual eclectic mix, free of bonds to any genre, reflecting my existence to this point, I consider myself fortunate to be able to say.
Bill Buckingham contributed much to this album. He did also with ‘Running Down the Devil’ and ‘No Believer,” but this album relies on him for drum, guitar, piano and a number of other synthesized sounds via his keyboard. All that on top of production, arranging and engineering. Serene Eades, known for her part in the success of Rakish Angles, brings her tasty and heartfelt fiddle artistry to the soundscape and Keith Bennett, justifiably known and respected across Canada for a wide range of musical capacities adds his magical harp to several songs. There is a little of my guitar in the mix here and there, and I am the chameleon vocalist, as Bill likes to call me.
I will add in any review that comes about, but it is early days just yet. I know one is coming along and I look forward to it.
At this point I have no intention of manufacturing CDs. I would like to get around to making downloads of the songs available to folks but have a lot else on my plate: Writing about my out-of-the-box experiences for this site being far from the least of it. Then there’s family, gardening, a little carpentering, social and political commentary…….a whole raft of things that in one way or another warrant my time.
If you are reading this after hearing the songs I guess I can reasonably assume they caught your interest….Good. If these few lines move you to listen to them now, all I can say is…..good.
This album of songs is named as it is because I’m thinking it is likely to be the last one I put together. Not a sure thing, of course, little in my existence has been. Enough songs of a quality that compels me to record them could come along before I become entirely senescent.
A coda, for those unfamiliar with the term, is the final section of a long piece of music (as I kind of see my life being), with elements of summary to it. And there are a couple of songs here that go a long way back: ‘Lions In the Den’ sprung to hand and mind over four decades ago as I sat with my lady on a pebble beach at the head of Herbert Arm on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
It is a muse on melancholy and remains so in this version, but counterpointed by a kind of jazz/latin style that came about because producer/arranger Bill Buckingham indulged the predisposition to reach into his bag of production and musical talents with which I have often contended while putting together three albums with his considerable help. Fact is…I like it. It gets me dancing. I also like not being so hidebound that I can’t allow the recording process to have a force and direction that emerges out of all the energies involved in making it.
The verses for It Wasn’t So Long Ago came into being in Safety Cove as I sat one clear and deeply silent fall evening on the aluminum gunnel of my log salvage boat Stray, looking across the water at the single mast light of a lone gillnetter anchored there. The chorus I wrote at the request of now retired opera singer Lyn Vernon, who wanted to bring the choir into the piece for a performance at the heritage theatre in Gibsons.
I have begun with the intention of putting one song on this site per week until they are all up, syncing them with a reference in a small box-ad I have running in a local newspaper. It is my own community that I most want to have hear the songs. In so many ways they sprang out of its natural, working and social environment, touched at least subliminally by them even when very personal. But I may just get them all up over the next little while and simply refer to them one at a time in the ad. We’ll have to see how much time I have, with the other things I’m attending to.
If they get heard beyond my own community, that will be a bonus. In an ideal scenario folks here will spread the links around to their computer-savvy friends. Who knows what the magic of the internet might generate? And I like the practical, hands-on, low expenditure approach, dispensing with the manufacturing of and attempt to distribute CDs (at least for now) with all that that entails.