Save the Farm

This is my first farming song, written with a focus on the hardship that Manitoba farmers have pretty much every single year when winter’s end results in the flooding of the fields, roads, and homes of so many of the farming families between Winnipeg and North Dakota. They’re quite resilient people and, unfortunately, get the short end of the stick too much of the time when it comes to help from the government.

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Gatineau Hills

I don’t really write love songs or generally think highly of them, but I woke up one spring morning a few years back and had this idea of a widower taking a hike up the hills in Gatineau, Quebec (on the other side of the river from Ottawa) to recollect a tender moment shared with his wife that took place in that most serene and rustic of places. The tune is simple, subtle, allowing for some light and playful fingerpicking between two acoustic guitars or a guitar and banjo or mandolin. This is about as sentimental as I will ever get as a songwriter.

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Grampa’s Old Canoe

This is one of the first folksongs I wrote back in late 2005/early 2006 after deciding I had more to explore musically than snobby, orchestral stuff. This seemingly simple, recreational tune is as old school as it gets.

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I Dreamed of Cape Breton

When one is writing folksongs, especially on this side of the pond, it’s something of an expectation to write at least one immigration tune, if anything to pay tribute to the tradition. This one has a similar roll to Archie Fisher’s The Final Trawl, which clearly influenced the call-outs in the song, perhaps a little too closely. I still think it stands on its own and was a nice singalong piece on those couple of occasions I performed this one in public.

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