"It's a Blue Hill Day" is the first solo album sung and produced by Sandra (Sandy) Dedrick who was the lead singer in The Free Design, a soft rock group composed of brothers and sisters, Chris, Bruce, Ellen and Sandy Dedrick. (The Free Design released seven albums between 1967 - 1973, six of them with Enoch Light's Project 3 records. A 'reunion' album was released by Marina Records in 2001, and all the recordings have been reissued both in vinyl and cd form several times in the 2000s. Their remarkable story can be found on their website.)
Chris Dedrick sadly passed away in August, 2010 and it was Sandy's desire to find a way to honour her brother that inspired this album. The recording consists of 10 of Chris' songs, written between 1970 and 2010. They were culled from among hundreds of songs in his files.
Song-writing was Chris' early entree into the world of composing music in many genres. The first album for the Free Design, "Kites Are Fun" was recorded when he was 19 with his title song hitting the charts. Although he became an awarding winning film score composer (4 Gemini awards and a Genie award), he never stopped writing poems and songs.
The lyrics were often poems before they became songs and they range in mood from deep reflection ("Desire/Chearness of Conception") to 'tongue-in-cheek' playfulness ("I Wanna Be There") - and everything in between, whether lullaby or love song.
Tom Szczesniak, longtime friend and musical colleague, (Tom played with the Free Design in the '70s) has brought together some of Canada's finest jazz and classical musicians (including himself!) for this recording.
From the Album
"Chris Dedrick was a talent of immeasurable proportion. His musical innovation in the early '70s was like nothing we had heard to that point in time. Chris, Sandy, Ellen, Gary Gauger (Gauger Percussion, RIMS inventor) , and myself worked together as the Free Design in the '70s. Chris was a kind soul with a flair for the unusual in all aspects of his life. He was like a brother to me and was one of those true friends that I always felt at home with. Although we lost touch during the past years, each time I saw Chris it was like coming home. I hope that you enjoy this compilation of Chris' songs that have been so lovingly put together by Sandy."
1. Desire/Clearness of Conception Piano: Tom Szczesniak, Bass: Neil Swainson, Drums: Terry Clarke, Electric Guitar: Michael Francis,
French Horn: Joan Watson
2. If You Were Honey/Love Being Piano: Tom Szczesniak, Bass: Neil Swainson, Drums: Terry Clarke, Electric Guitar: Michael Francis
3. It's a Blue Hill Day Fender Rhodes: Tom Szczesniak, Bass: Neil Swainson, Drums: Terry Clarke, Acoustic Guitar: Michael Francis
4 Like a Nightingale Piano: Tom Szczesniak, Bass: Neil Swainson, Drums: Terry Clarke, Electric Guitar: Michael Francis
5. Only Love Piano: Tom Szczesniak, Bass: Neil Swainson, Drums: Terry Clarke
6. Take Me To Paradise Piano: Tom Szczesniak, Cello: Roman Borys
7. Destiny Piano: Tom Szczesniak, Bass: Neil Swainson, Drums: Terry Clarke, Acoustic Guitars: Michael Francis,
Flugelhorn: Guido Basso, Background Vocals: Tom Szczesniak
8. I'll Go Away Piano: Tom Szczesniak, Electric Guitar: Michael Francis, Flugelhorn: Guido Basso
9. I Wanna Be There Piano: Tom Szczesniak, Bass: Neil Swainson, Drums: Terry Clarke, Electric Guitars: Michael Francis,
Trumpet: Guido Basso, Background Vocals: Tom Szczesniak, Neil Swainson, Terry Clarke, David MacDougall,
Childrenj: Kristina Tiede, Monica Tiede
10. Dream Yourself a Song Piano: Tom Szczesniak, French Horn: Joan Watson
All Vocals by Sandra Dedrick
All Songs and Arrangements by Christopher Dedrick (Published by The Lamplighter Music Publishing Company)
Produced by Chad Irschick, Rebecca Pellett and Tom Szczesniak
Executive Producer: Sandra Dedrick
Recorded and Mixed by Chad Irschick
Mastered by Chad Irschick and Michael Haas
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Inception Sound Studios, Toronto, Canada
Piano Technician, Keith Pettit
Photography: Pierre Dumais - Sandra Dedrick's photograph, Denise Grant - Christopher Dedrick's photograph,
Pier Paolo Alberghini - ' in the studio' photographs
CD Design by Roly Platt at Platypus Design
First and foremost to Chris for these beautiful songs and exquisite arrangements, and to his wife Moira for helping me find them.
Then to the incredible trio - Rebecca, Chad and Tom, whose combined cache of expertise and consummate musicality brought this recording to fruition.
To Tom for bringing the "best of the best" (including himself!) musicians together for this project. Thank you Tom, Terry, Neil, Michael, Joan, Guido and Roman - what an honour to record with you!
My thanks also to my sons, Jay and Aaron Zynczak for always standing by me - to Roly Platt, Mike Haas, Linda Roedl, David Varjabed, Denise Grant, Pier Paolo Alberghini and Megan Thomas.
And last, but foremost, my deepest appreciation to dear Pierre Dumais and Mary Fisk for your wholehearted love and encouragement.