This album was forged over the summer months of 2010, during which time I had moved back to Halifax for the summer months from my lifelong home of Trenton, NS. No matter where I go I always seem to be tied spiritually to the Steeltown. Indeed, the vast majority of my writing is rooted in many ways to the town, it’s people, or it’s essence. Though I’ve lived in Halifax for probably the majority of the last 5 or 6 years it’s that small town which forges most of whatever creativity I can pull from my bones.
Most of the songs started as acoustic songs I had been playing with cousin and the band’s guitarist Rob Anderson. We were booked for a gig that required a full band by a friend on a Tuesday. The gig was on Thursday. Through friends we found a drummer, who then found a bass player and with about an hours worth of practice we played the gig. The band has stuck together since then and the album was put together over that summer.
The album was recorded over what seemed to be the hottest days of the summer in Bedford, NS, when – conveniently – everyone seemed to be either hungover or still drunk from the previous night. The heat and the headaches gave us a sense of urgency to nail it as quick as possible, and what you’re hearing on many of the songs are first or second takes. We recorded as much as possible live off the floor, and whatever had to be mixed in later was done so with the philosophy of “old” with new, making lead breaks sound like you were stepping into a microphone then stepping out, leaving in mistakes for the sake of authenticity, and so on. That pre-production was done over a period of many months, as I had returned to Trenton, and was only working on the album a few days a month when I was around.
From the title track to the album cover and liner photos, the album is firmly “Trenton.” The title track itself is inspired by my own stories growing up there, and they’re all true, whether I’d like to admit that or not. Most of the songs here are similarly rooted in stories, though not all are exactly true or personal. Rotten Pines (Hermit’s Blues) is written about a true to life folk legend, Willard Kitchener MacDonald – The Hermit of Gully Lake. Meanwhile, songs like My Weeping Heart (a song which unlike most of the others was written about 2 years prior) are certainly stories, about 1% true and not at all personal. Many from Trenton may certainly recall a certain story, but I must admit, at the time I wrote the song it had no direct inspiration on the story (other than subconsciously).
Alas, to this album is a number of things… a journey, exorcism, jubilation, a rebirth and a life lesson. But that’s what writing should really be about anyway, isn’t it?