The songs I’ve written have generated four CDs and one cassette over the years. With few exceptions I didn’t set out to write them in any deliberate way. They came into being the way a comment in a conversation does. They usually required little or nothing in the way of subsequent editing and came complete with melody. Looking at the whole array now I see that they were a form of personal journaling.
There was some affirming critical response, particularly from Europe when I had “Running Down the Devil’ circulated to country radio stations there. I have had some play on Canadian radio and a turn on college radio. CBC TV, both French and English, have used You Want to See Me Splice Rope.
I went into the recording studio with the belief that there was some intrinsic lyrical and and/or melodic worth to the songs. I liked performing them and did with some regularity but felt in no way drawn to what I perceived the life of a professional musician to be. My circumstances were full of color, an energizing level of risk and beauty and earned my family and I an adequate living. I was not about to give them up to make a commodity of myself to be sold in crowded, urban marketplaces.
Offering the songs in this on-line format suits them. I do so on the assumption that regardless of the circumstances of any of our lives there is far more that we share, simply by being human, than divides us.
Ironic, provocative, whimsical, scathing….the songs integrate shades of country, blues, folk and jazz. All of what goes on in the experience of human beings is grist for the mill and the songs spotlight moments of “apparent clarity.”He performs on Canada’s western coast where he lives and at festivals around British Columbia.
… “An auditory delight. This singer/songwriter has all the right stuff. His voice is a pleasing echo of the early Bob Dylan. His backup group on the album includes some of Canada’s leading musicians. Best of all is Marian’s songwriting, which is sincere, funny and most of all musical.”
Bob Powers – The World’s Magazine Aug.25/98
… “An excellent piece of writing, performance and production. An important release.”
Holger Peterson – CBC
… “Nobody else is writing songs like this.”
Terry Jacks, film-maker and environmentalist
… “Takes aim at the loss of personal freedom, corporate greed and self-serving politicians
….an irreverent but engaging wordsmith.”
Tom Harrison, Vancouver Province
… “Boy is this different – but good!”
Coastal Radio Shows England
… “Very interesting this guy !!
Playing him across Spain”
Nacional D’Espanya Radio Spain
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.
I’d somehow become a politician prior to recording No Believer, a considerable departure from many years working solo on the water and living semi-remotely. The picture in the album is the one used in a campaign for election to a second three-year term on the Sunshine Coast Regional District Board.
The album features Robby Steininger’s in-the-moment guitar work, Brian Newcome’s oh-so-tasty bass, Rocky Vaugois’ fine touch on the brushes and Bill Buckingham’s production.
I never did get around to getting this out to radio. Just plain got too busy.
RUNNIN DOWN THE DEVIL -1997
Bill has worked with Valdy, Rita McNeil and Skywalk, among others. Award-winning guitarist Robbie Steininger drives the album instrumentally on acoustic, Spanish and electric guitars, dobros, mandola and mandolin. Robbie also produced and engineered ‘Land of the Tree’; a late addition to the album.
He is supported by a cast of Westcoast notables: Jim McGillveray on percussion, Brian Newcombe on Bass, Keith Bennett on harp, Tom Keenlyside on soprano sax, Rocko Vaugeois on drums, Kathy St. Germain, Megan Metcalfe and Rocko Vaugeois on backup vocals and fiddler Mike Sanyshyn. The resulting clean uncluttered sound makes your home system sound as good as you thought it was when when you bought it.
PULLIN FOR THE WOODS -1994
This Album has been out for some years now. It still works for me. The photo is of my last glory days, when I was fitter, healthier, better looking and still working my independent way along the shores of Georgia Strait, pulling the good drift logs off the beach with my beachcomb boat. She was a beauty, as you can probably tell from the picture.