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 ofÂ 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 releaseÂ 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 somewhereÂ 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 LeaderÂ 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”.
Â WT was also recently included on the second edition of the “Tofino Live” CD which was recorded back in April at a sold outÂ showÂ on Vancouver Island. It includes 11 local Tofino and Ucluelet acts as well asÂ 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!Â
In a half whispered tone, i might speculate that LindyÂ GrayÂ is hard at work on a solo album based on circus love songs and matador ballads with some of the finest musicians inÂ Vancouver’s vibrant east-endÂ scene…Definately on the horizon…
Again, thank you for coming by…I hope that this finds your summer lingering and the ideas flowing!Â
Born of these mountains
Lovegrove returns to the setting of his Revival Hymns
Posted 19 days ago
â€œEarly in the 1900s there were two brothers who were living in Dead Manâ€™s Flats and one of the brothers started to complain about hearing weird mechanical noises through the walls so â€” what I assume from what I read was that he was maybe schizophrenic, or he had a mental problem in that way â€” but he wound up killing his brother with an axe. The story is just horrific . . . .â€
And so the hamlet of Dead Manâ€™s Flats got its name. But thatâ€™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 hamletâ€™s name for â€œwoodland telegraph sings Revival Hymnsâ€ the first in a planned trilogy of historically based folk recordings.
The resulting disk was well received by critics and fans of folk alike. Itâ€™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.
Lovegroveâ€™s work brought him into the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre as well, where he approached the curator Edward van Vliet.
â€œI went to him with the idea: I was like, â€˜Hey maybe I can get some old audio samples to use for the record.â€™â€ Lovegrove said. â€œAnd he was just like, â€˜You know what? You should do this . . . you should apply for this grant . . . heâ€™s just good at stoking people up. Heâ€™s a great guy.â€
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 townâ€™s past and helped to provide much of the understanding the singer-songwriter now has for the area.
â€œI would just sit and have a cup of coffee and listen to these old-timers tell stories of Canmore,â€ 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, itâ€™d be categorized differently, he said.
â€œIâ€™m not sure, exactly who it was, but a gentleman was talking about the Ghost River and his trip up there one time,â€ Lovegrove recalled. â€œYou know how rivers sometimes kind of go intermittent, theyâ€™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 guyâ€™s like, â€œIâ€™m going to put this butter in the river to keep it cool.â€™ 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 riverâ€™s gone.â€
Itâ€™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.
â€œI get stoked on the whole concept though, I like concept records, not that Revival Hymns is a concept album, but thereâ€™s themes running throughout,â€ Lovegrove said. â€œAnd I like songs that connect with each other.
â€œI want to map out Canada with my songs, I want to map out the landscape with songs,â€
Lovegroveâ€™s recorded eight songs for the next album, the next one is going to be about Canadian farmland and prairies, heâ€™s moving to Lethbridge soon to continue work on the projectâ€™s second record, â€œFrom the Fields.â€
But while Lovegrove is back in the area, heâ€™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 Telegraphâ€™s catalogue as part of the lodgeâ€™s â€œSinging for your supperâ€ 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.