There are a few places to see the group perform live online this month, November 2020.
The first is this evening, Nov. 13th at 7:30pm EST, with a special acoustic trio version of the band in the beautiful Aeolian Hall for their Phoenix Sessions. No audience, but the Hall’s grand piano played by keyboardist Kelsey McNulty and upright bass courtesy of Bret Higgins, along with the acoustically dynamic Hall itself. It includes an in-depth interview with the Aeolian’s Clark Bryan. As some may know, Great Lake Swimmers’ history runs deep with the Aeolian, going back to the recording of 2007’s Ongiara there. See details in the flyer for ticket information, and at https://aeolianhall.ca/events/great-lake-swimmers-3/
The second is coming up on Nov. 28th for CityFolk Festival’s 2020 virtual edition. We’re excited to be part of this lineup and our performance features a full five-piece ensemble of Great Lake Swimmers in front of a socially-distanced, fully-masked audience at the wonderful Almonte Old Town Hall in Almonte, Ontario. Tickets are now available for the online broadcast which will include performances by Jason Isbell, Tim Baker, The Abrams, Tom Wilson, Ben Caplan, Nambi, and Johnny Shay. This was an intensely moving performance as it was the first time our group has played together in over 7 months. More details can be found at https://watch.cityfolkfestival.com/schedule/71036/462584; we hope you’re able to join us online.
Also, a special thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s Bandcamp Friday. Orders have gone out this week. In case you missed it, our full catalogue of LPs, CDs, and digital downloads is available on Bandcamp at https://greatlakeswimmers.bandcamp.com/, including an exclusive album of cover songs, “When We Last Shook Hands: Cover Songs Volume 1” collected from the bands performances over the last 15 years.
Great Lake Swimmers are very excited to be part of a re-imagined Festival of Small Halls next month. On October 25 they’ll be playing at Manotick United Church (near Ottawa, Ontario) with limited, distanced seating. All health guidelines and precautions will be followed. Tickets go on sale today (Sept. 24th) at 10:00am EST. Info at: https://thefestivalofsmallhalls.com/
When We Last Shook Hands: Cover Songs Volume 1 is a collection of covers recorded by Great Lake Swimmers over a period of about 12 years, between 2007-2019. Most of the songs have been released in one form or another as part of compilations, live sessions, or album bonus tracks, but there are also a handful of songs that are just now seeing the light of day, including the lead track, “Come A Long Way,” written by Kate McGarrigle. They are gathered together here for the first time.
The recordings are from such
disparate sources as Studio 101 in New Orleans, Mailmen Studios in Utrecht, The
Netherlands, and locations closer to home like The House Of Miracles in Ontario,
Canada. We feel that they’ve come together as a cohesive whole despite their
differences in time, space, and iterations of the band.
The project was overseen by long-time collaborator Andy Magoffin, who mastered the album and sonically brought it together. The cover artwork was created by Adam CK Vollick.
Track list: 01 Come A Long Way (Kate McGarrigle) 02 Dublin Blues (Guy Clark) 03 Before They Make Me Run (The Rolling Stones) 04 What Was Going Through My Head (The Grapes Of Wrath) 05 The Storms Are On The Ocean (The Carter Family) 06 Don’t Cry No Tears (Neil Young) 07 Willow Tree (Chad Vangaalen) 08 The Things That People Make, Part 3 (The Burning Hell) 09 The Dark Don’t Hide It (Magnolia Electric Co.) 10 It Keeps Me Up (Museum Pieces) 11 The Desperate Kingdom Of Love (PJ Harvey) 12 You Know More Than I Know (John Cale) 13 My Sweet Relief (Martin Tielli) 14 Innocent When You Dream (Tom Waits)
We are acutely aware of the
unrest happening in the world right now, especially in the United States, and
join with many in outrage and protest. Partial proceeds from the sale of this
album today and on June 19th will be donated to Black Lives Matter –
The artist-friendly music platform Bandcamp is waiving its revenue share today, Friday May 1st, to help support artists who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of that, we’re releasing a live set from our show last fall in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada’s capital city) exclusively on our Bandcamp site to stream or purchase for the next four weeks: https://greatlakeswimmers.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-ottawa-at-the-27-club-2019-10-03 We miss the live music experience as much as you probably do, so hopefully this is an alternative that you can enjoy from the comfort and safety of your own home. It is a fan recording, and although it has some audio inconsistencies, we think it makes up in performance and spirit what it might lack in technical fidelity. That’s a big part of what we like about live music to begin with. Checking out music on Bandcamp, especially today, is a great way to support the music and musicians that you love in these times.
The April solo acoustic tour of Europe with Liz Hysen of Toronto band Picastro has unfortunately been postponed due to the pandemic. The intention of the tour was to perform the scaled back, minimalist songs from “The Waves, The Wake (Acoustic)” and some of the collaborative tracks from Picastro’s excellent new record, “Exit.” We also pressed a 7″ record of new songs for the tour, “Getting To The Heart Of It” by Great Lake Swimmers and Picastro’s “Where Are You” with “Thursday.” With the tour on hold (for now), a limited number of the 45 RPM singles are available for mailorder and can be found at http://www.greatlakeswimmers.com/shop/ Pressed to translucent purple vinyl, they also feature stunning cover images by artists Kristan Klimczak and Adam CK Vollick.
Swimmers Live at the Webber Academy Performing Arts Center in Calgary for the
Stampede City Sessions (Video)
One of our last shows before the pandemic took hold happened in Calgary, Alberta at the Webber Academy Performing Arts Center, for the Stampede City Sessions. We’ve posted the full concert to our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/Z_v9iNw2IPI Thanks to the Webber Academy and ATB Financial for having us in and for this beautifully filmed concert.
As always, your support and kind ears are very much appreciated, and we hope to see you when the venues open up again.
We regret to announce that the European solo acoustic tour with Liz Hysen of Picastro has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We hope to reschedule for the near future. Like many of our peers who have also had to cancel tour dates, this has dealt a huge economical and emotional blow to everyone involved. If you are inclined, check out our shop which is carrying our latest LPs, and will soon stock the limited Great Lake Swimmers/Picastro split 7″ tour exclusive that was meant to accompany us on this trip. http://www.greatlakeswimmers.com/shop/ Thanks for your support and understanding and we hope to see you down the road soon
We’re very excited to announce new European tour dates in April 2020. Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker will be hitting the road in Europe to play songs from the recently released “The Waves, The Wake (Acoustic),” the solo record “Prayer Of The Woods,” new songs, and solo iterations from the Great Lake Swimmers catalogue. Joining him on the tour will be Liz Hysen of Toronto band Picastro. Dekker provides vocal support on the latest Picastro release, “Exit.”
In addition, a Great Lake Swimmers/Picastro split 7” record of exclusive new material will be released leading up to the tour. “Getting To The Heart Of It” and “Where Are You” + “Thursday” will be a limited physical release on translucent purple vinyl and available at the shows.
Upcoming Canadian Tour Dates: Thanks to all who made our sold out, home-town Toronto show at the newly re-opened Paradise Theatre an evening to remember. There are still a few tickets left for our remaining full band Canadian tour dates, including shows in London, Calgary, and Edmonton.
Tony Dekker at Hillside Inside 2020 Coming up on Feb. 9, 2020, Tony Dekker will be making a special solo appearance as part of Hillside Inside’s “Lit Music Brunch” series in Guelph, Ontario. Co-presented by the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, the morning event will feature a solo acoustic performance following a reading from “To the River: Losing My Brother” by author Don Gillmor. Limited space is available by contacting Mijiidaa in downtown Guelph. https://www.facebook.com/hillsidefestivalguelph/
Great Lake Swimmers Shop Additions Recently added to our online shop is Tony Dekker’s 2013 solo LP, “Prayer Of The Woods.” Take another listen to a record that is described as “Folk music that sounds like it was recorded on the periphery between the living room and the surrounding woodland … a humble and traditional folk work, focusing on lyrical analogies and aphorisms” (Norman Records UK).
Video for “The Real Work” Lastly, in case you missed it, below is a live solo acoustic video for “The Real Work” filmed near Sleeping Giant Provincial Park this past summer by Adam CK Vollick, with audio engineered by Joe Lapinski. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iip7Wg6T6gU
Great Lake Swimmers will bring in 2020 with a set of full-band Canadian dates which will include Toronto, Whitehorse, Edmonton, and London. Full dates can be found below and tickets go on sale Friday Nov. 29, 2019.
Today, the band also shares a new video for “The Talking Wind” (Acoustic), the third installment in a series shot in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park earlier this year. The video was filmed and edited by Adam CK Vollick with the sound engineered by Joe Lapinksi of The WOW Sound. It is part of the recently released solo acoustic version of The Waves, The Wake. WATCH AND SHARE “THE TALKING WIND” (ACOUSTIC) HERE: https://youtu.be/6wpYUhyIMMk
2020 TOUR DATES Jan. 25 – Toronto, ON @ Paradise Theatre Feb. 20 – London, ON @ Aeolian Hall Feb. 27 – Whitehorse, YT @ Yukon Arts Centre Feb. 29 – Edmonton, AB @ Station On Jasper
Released late last year, The Waves, The Wake was recorded in the 145-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church and produced by Chris Stringer (Union Sound). On the LP, Dekker decided to challenge himself by writing new music without any acoustic guitar, which has always been his instrumental mainstay. Each song on the album is brought to life in its own distinctive way, using an acoustic palette that includes woodwinds, harp, congas, marimba and pipe organ.
“Dekker renews Great Lake Swimmers’ sound while still retaining the atmospheric singing and subtle yet intricate guitar playing that are quintessential to the band. It’s a tricky balance, but Dekker and his sprawling team of contributors pull it off with aplomb.” – Exclaim!
“…a beautiful, hypnotic track wrapped in a rich, comforting warmth…” – CBC
“’Alone But Not Alone’ is a breezy 60s inspired track that’s more than meets the eye” – NOISEY
Today, Great Lake Swimmers are announcing the new acoustic version of their latest LP, The Waves, The Wake, out November 8. “There were a handful of demos from the album recording that were very scaled back and stark,” says songwriter Tony Dekker. “I recorded a few more with producer Joe Lapinski – those turned out so well that we decided to do a full album of acoustic versions from The Waves, The Wake. No frills, no weighty production, just voice and guitar. It’s meant to be a companion piece to our latest release.”
The limited edition LP is available for pre-order exclusively through the band’s website, on limited edition 180-gram vinyl, with original artwork by Niagara artist Geoff Farnsworth. Pre-ordered LPs will ship on the album release day, November 8. http://www.greatlakeswimmers.com/shop/
The JUNO Award nominated and Polaris Music Prize shortlisted band are also sharing a new video for the acoustic version of “In A Certain Light” from the LP, which was recorded in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. “The northern shore of Lake Superior has an intense grip on my imagination and I wanted to make a dedicated trip to explore more deeply its mythology and wild landscapes,” says Dekker. “In conjunction with Ontario Creates, we set off on an exploratory trip this past July documenting sounds by way of audio field recordings, visual footage, gathering inspiration for new songs, and recording demos in the locations we found ourselves in. The ultimate destination was Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. This will be the heart of the next Great Lake Swimmers album, which is currently a work in progress.”
Beginning September 21, Great Lake Swimmers will continue their summer tour dates across Canada. Full tour dates can be found below and tickets can be purchased at www.greatlakeswimmers.com/shows.
Released earlier this year, The Waves, The Wake was recorded in the 145-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church and produced by Chris Stringer (Union Sound). On the LP, Dekker decided to challenge himself by writing new music without any acoustic guitar, which has always been his instrumental mainstay. Each song on the album is brought to life in its own distinctive way, using an acoustic palette that includes woodwinds, harp, congas, marimba and pipe organ.
GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS ON TOUR Sept. 21: Saint John, NB @ Peppers Pub Sept. 23: Moncton, NB @ Capitol Theatre w/ Jenn Grant Sept. 24: Fredericton, NB @ The Playhouse, w/ Jenn Grant Sept. 25: Georgetown, PE @ King’s Playhouse Sept. 26: Halifax, NS @ The Seahorse Sept. 27: Annapolis Royal, NS @ King’s Theatre Sept. 29: Sackville, NB @ Thunder & Lightning w/ Colleen Brown Oct. 1: Quebec City, QC @ L’Anti w/ Colleen Brown Oct. 2: Montreal, QC @ Studio Base Bin Oct. 3: Ottawa, ON @ The 27 Club w/ Colleen Brown Oct. 5: Grimsby, ON @ Station 1 Coffeehouse Oct. 6: Napanee, ON @ Doghouse Studios w/ Colleen Brown Oct. 8: Collingwood, ON @ Crow Sessions with host Jeff Woods (Sold Out) Oct. 9: Gravenhurst, ON @ Peter’s Players Oct. 17: Paris, ON @ Dominion Telegraph Hall (Sold Out)
THE WAVES, THE WAKE (ACOUSTIC) TRACKLIST 1 The Talking Wind (Acoustic) 2 In A Certain Light (Acoustic) 3 Alone But Not Alone (Acoustic) 4 Falling Apart (Acoustic) 5 Side Effects (Acoustic) 6 The Real Work (Acoustic) 7 Root Systems (Acoustic) 8 Unmaking The Bed (Acoustic) 9 Visions Of A Different World (Acoustic) 10 Holding Nothing Back (Acoustic) 11 Mouth Of Flames (Acoustic) 12 The Open Sea (Acoustic)