I’ve been meaning to record a Christmas song for quite some time now. Finally, I’ve gotten around to it! This is one of my favourites; O Holy Night. I loved singing it with the Thunder Bay Barbershop Chorus, and there are some very powerful versions. However, I changed it up substantially. I started with samples from an a cappella bassline that I time-stretched (originally from some of the “Pitch Pipes” demos), added some salsa/latin/reggae flavour to it, and then laid down the vocals. I kept it to only the first two verses though. I also did what I think was a nifty little solo!
The whole thing was recorded at home, with all the instruments and vocals by me, except for my sister, chiming in on the 2nd verse.
I was excited to come back to Toronto, because I had had a show booked at C’est What last time but it fell through. It was a really nice venue, and quite extensive for a basement bar/restaurant. My good friend Nick Sherman kicked off the show with his partner’s father joining him on bass. Unfortunately Shannon didn’t manage to snap a shot of his new, snazzy rock-a-billy look, because we were both enjoying it too much!
I went on next and was then reminded of why I don’t usually do cover songs. I’ve been doing Idioteque by Radiohead, and did it at the Smiling Buddha show a few weeks before, so naturally I had some friends (repeat fans!) request that I do it again this show. I chose to do so, but I don’t want to be known as that guy that does the acapella cover of Radiohead, so I explained why I wasn’t going to do so originally. I had burned before in Thunder Bay by doing a cover of Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio, until my set got cut off immediately after performing it at a Frosh week event, despite having an additional 20 minutes left to my set. That’s why I’ve been hesitant about doing certain cover songs since. The minute I begin to be recognized by a cover, I’ll either switch it or stop doing it altogether. So for those of you that saw my rendition of it this tour, that’s it! I would hope to be remembered for my original music than for re-interpretations of others, but I understand how people can find familiar music to be more memorable once a show is over.
Following me was Brett Caswell, who even brought some fans from Barrie! He was a hit, switching from guitar to piano and giving out free copies of his newest album. Either way, lots of original music was spread around that night, through performance, give-aways, and also by leaving some copies of Windows and Doors with the nice people at Criminal Records!