KATHERINE WHEATLEY - NEW LIFE, NEW CD, NEW HEART, NEW SPIRIT
By Richard Flohil
Ask any songwriter for advice, and the answer is always the same: “Write what you know.” It’s counsel that Katherine Wheatley has frequently given — and it’s advice that she’s followed on her emotionally powerful new CD, Landed.
Here is what Katherine knows: Doubt, betrayal and loss. Courage, strength and discovery. This is what else she knows: how to make songs universal and how to write tunes you remember, lyrics that are believable, and stories that touch the heart and mind.
Christmas comes ‘round each December
Robins return every spring
Wild aster blooms each September
But some people don’t come back again
The songs on Landed are about growing up, loyalty, relationship, loss, revenge and — most of all — resilience. And when she sings about making it work, you feel like dancing.
Monday, the boys have basketball
Tuesday, they wait for you to call
Wednesday, I get them to the rink by five
Thursday, car pool, my turn to drive
Friday comes and Saturday goes.
Sunday, heaven knows….
It’s taken 10 years for Katherine to release her third album. She started the project four years ago, and then — with big changes in her life — she put the album on hold until new songs emerged. She asked two others songwriters, Lynn Miles and Scott Merritt, to produce the record. They demanded that Katherine meet this standard for every line of every song: “Will people believe it?” A line that seemed maudlin? An awkward phrase? A verse that needed clarity? Scott and Lynn insisted Wheatley get the eraser and sharpener out. They insisted she be truthful.
The result: Landed is a collection of 11 songs that are not only Wheatley’s very best work, but give a perfect indication of the grace, power and emotional impact of her live performance.
This is a strong woman, a survivor, and a person who has indeed — despite the bumpy journey — landed. As the title song puts it:
I landed, I made it through
I landed without help from you
When I landed, it felt so sweet....
’Cause I landed on my own two feet.
"Katherine Wheatley has "LANDED" back on top!!! After a long recording hiatus, "Landed" demonstrates that Katherine Wheatley remains one of Canada's most insightful and compelling singer-songwriters. An album of personal love and loss that speaks to us all and so touches our souls that it makes you hang on every note and word-- BRILLIANT!" Jim Marino Freewheeling Folk Show 93.3 CFMU Hamilton ON
Produced by Scott Merritt and Lynn Miles
Featuring (in order of appearance): Scott Merritt, Lynn Miles, Katherine Wheatley, Suzie Vinnick, Lyle Molzan, Maury Lafoy, Dennis Keldie, Nick Crane, Jude Vadala, Tannis Slimmon, Jeff Bird, Nic Tjelios, Wendell Ferguson, David Travers-Smith, Chris Chanter and Shawna Cooper
All songs recorded by Scott Merritt at The Cottage except "Great Big Guitar", recorded by David Travers-Smith at Found Sound and "Storm Warning", recorded by Nic Tjelios at Katherine's house.
Mixed by Scott Merritt at The Cottage in Guelph, ON
Mastered by David Cain at SoundMaster Studios in Ottawa, ON
Art Direction, design, layout & illustration by A Man Called Wrycraft, www.wrycraft.com
Photograph by Michael Wrycraft
One True Kiss, Hallelujah, Runaway, The 3:17, Great Big Guitar and My Request written by Katherine Wheatley, published by The HOOT Music Co. (SOCAN); Signal Faded, Storm Warning, Loved A Man and Landed written by Katherine Wheatley and James Gordon, published by The HOOT Music Co. and Pipe Street Publishing (SOCAN); Bound To You written by Katherine Wheatley, James Gordon and Wendell Ferguson, published by The HOOT Music Co., Pipe Street Publishing and Wen Hel Freezes Music (SOCAN).
Thanks all you musicians, for your wonderful playing; DTS and Nic Tjelios, for your excellent ears; and Michael Wrycraft, for your ideas and stunning work. I love what you do. Thank you Michele, Michael, Ann, Pierre-Yves, Chris, Geoff, Nicole, Rod, Mom and the rest of la famille who help in ways that always make things better for me. Thanks to my friends in Guelph -Valerie Copping, Chris Chanter, Shawna Cooper, Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala, Claire Barron, Julia Phillips, Jane Lewis and Sam Turton - for serving us delicious meals while we made this recording. Thanks Terry Eagan, Kim Logue, Samantha Armstrong, Kate and Jan Vanderhorst, Steve Potter, Holmes Hooke, Richard Carson and all the folks at Hugh's Room, Richard Flohil, Jadea Kelly, Don and Jani Quarles (nee McIsaac), Bob and Carrie Ahrens (nee Tudhope) for doing things that make what I do easier and better. Thanks James Gordon and Wendell Ferguson - you troopers. Thanks to the woman who shared her story and inspired "Landed". Thanks Sue Merritt for making Lynn and me feel welcome. Thank YOU - yes you out there - for listening. And finally, thank you Lynn and Scott for making me so darn happy.