“The Captive Road” consists of nine pieces, seven of which were recorded in Vancouver from May 2010 to April 2011. The other two songs originate from another time altogether. Although I realize it is not generally advisable, I was intrigued by the idea of including music from different eras - from now and from then – firstly because I love the older pieces and until now had not found a way to use them. I did want the album to have a distinctive mood - but I also wanted to show some range of musical language.
The new songs represent the sound I have been dreaming about for a while. Acoustic piano, cello, upright bass (in this case I played a bass balalaika), some spare marimba & accordion – and harmony vocals. The pieces are lean and spacious – intimate and spare.
I was fortunate to enlist the assistance of two of my favourite Vancouver artists – the cellist Peggy Lee and singer Frazey Ford. I asked Peggy to play on an instrumental for piano, bass & cello (The Reader) and was so taken by her performance that I had to have her sound on many of the other songs as well. Frazey sang harmony vocal on the first two tracks of the album, Fall Away & Time’s A Train. There are also cameo appearances by percussionist Joseph Pepe Danza, drummer Mallory Temple, singer Lisa Pham and guitarists Andrew Smith and Alpha Yaya Diallo.
In general, these pieces began from the piano. Bass balalaika, marimba and accordion filled out the basic rhythm section – then vocals, then cello. Oddly the drum parts came last.