Thanks for dropping on by our humble outpost, Matthew here from Woodland Telegraph…
We haven’t spoke in awhile- since our tour to Vancouver Island- and I thot I would fill you in on what’s been going on around these parts. Like a ghost town in the waves of summer heat, things have been very queit at the Northern Folklore camp, but in the glint of the setting sun in a broken window, things are stirring alive…
Pre-production is well underway for Woodland Telegraph’s sophomore release entitled: “From the Fields”. It is the second in their trilogy of Canadiana Landscape records and promises to raise the bar for homegrown roots exponentially….expect a summer 2010 release.
After a summer of tree planting, Happy Feet Howe is MIA: but be rest assured that he is out there somewhere blowing harp and singing songs to move your feet. Last I heard he was back on Vancouver Island, but again, that’s just talk you hear at night when the drink is flowing and spectres of the bluesmen arise…
Below is a little press that Woodland Telegraph amassed in the Canmore Leader in regards to a concert at the wonderful Mt. Engadine Lodge in the Rocky Mountains. Over $500 dollars was raised for the Canmore Food Bank and they delighted the intimate crowd with new farmland songs, a few old favourites and Lindy Gray introduced her latest instrument, the singing saw, on a new song called “In Half”.
WT was also recently included on the second edition of the “Tofino Live” CD which was recorded back in April at a sold out show on Vancouver Island. It includes 11 local Tofino and Ucluelet acts as well as WT who were joined by Happy Feet Howe on stage sporting a life-like giraffe mask which proved difficult for playing harp through but provided some great pictures!
In a half whispered tone, i might speculate that Lindy Gray is hard at work on a solo album based on circus love songs and matador ballads with some of the finest musicians in Vancouver’s vibrant east-end scene…Definately on the horizon…
Again, thank you for coming by…I hope that this finds your summer lingering and the ideas flowing!
Born of these mountains
Lovegrove returns to the setting of his Revival Hymns
Posted 19 days ago
“Early in the 1900s there were two brothers who were living in Dead Man’s Flats and one of the brothers started to complain about hearing weird mechanical noises through the walls so — what I assume from what I read was that he was maybe schizophrenic, or he had a mental problem in that way — but he wound up killing his brother with an axe. The story is just horrific . . . .”
And so the hamlet of Dead Man’s Flats got its name. But that’s not a historian speaking per se, those are the words of a folk singer, Matthew Lovegrove, from Woodland Telegraph. Lovegrove wrote a song in the hamlet’s name for “woodland telegraph sings Revival Hymns” the first in a planned trilogy of historically based folk recordings.
The resulting disk was well received by critics and fans of folk alike. It’s a contemporary take on old-time music, one that was well informed by both history and a modern appreciation of the folk style.
Lovegrove started his project in 2007, soaking in the history of the Bow Valley while living and working in Kananaskis Country.
Lovegrove’s work brought him into the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre as well, where he approached the curator Edward van Vliet.
“I went to him with the idea: I was like, ‘Hey maybe I can get some old audio samples to use for the record.’” Lovegrove said. “And he was just like, ‘You know what? You should do this . . . you should apply for this grant . . . he’s just good at stoking people up. He’s a great guy.”
The meeting lead to the Canmore Cassette Project, where Lovegorve transferred old audiotapes the museum had archived into digital recordings. The tapes, recorded in the 1980s were, a window into this town’s past and helped to provide much of the understanding the singer-songwriter now has for the area.
“I would just sit and have a cup of coffee and listen to these old-timers tell stories of Canmore,” Lovegrove said.
The musician further categorized the recordings: if Vic Lewis was talking about the coalmines, or if the man who introduced band music to the town was talking about another aspect of Canmore life, it’d be categorized differently, he said.
“I’m not sure, exactly who it was, but a gentleman was talking about the Ghost River and his trip up there one time,” Lovegrove recalled. “You know how rivers sometimes kind of go intermittent, they’ll go underground for a bit and then rise up? He had this crazy story, where they went up there and they were stopping for lunch. And the guy’s like, “I’m going to put this butter in the river to keep it cool.’ So he puts the butter in the river with a rock on top of it and he turns around to cut his loaf of bread and he turns around and the river’s gone.”
It’s not just an appreciation for the stories of old-timers that pushes Lovegrove forward.
The hand-crafted packaging of the record is a statement.
He said he wants continuity in his songs, something more than a favourite single that pops up in an iPod playlist.
“I get stoked on the whole concept though, I like concept records, not that Revival Hymns is a concept album, but there’s themes running throughout,” Lovegrove said. “And I like songs that connect with each other.
“I want to map out Canada with my songs, I want to map out the landscape with songs,”
Lovegrove’s recorded eight songs for the next album, the next one is going to be about Canadian farmland and prairies, he’s moving to Lethbridge soon to continue work on the project’s second record, “From the Fields.”
But while Lovegrove is back in the area, he’ll play Thursday, Aug. 27. at 8 p.m. at Mount Engadine Lodge. Joined by Lindy Gray (vocals and singing saw), the two will perform from Woodland Telegraph’s catalogue as part of the lodge’s “Singing for your supper” summer program. Tickets are $55, including dinner, or $10 for the show only: all ticket proceeds will be matched by Mount Engadine Lodge and donated to the Canmore Food Bank.