Spring 2014

Another action-packed winter is over, and now comes spring and some big changes. I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new studio venture Paintbox Recording. I have partnered up with Mike P Falk, known to the Manitoba music community as a talented musician/producer and all-round excellent guy. Together we have put together a very artist-friendly and comfortable recording space on Shaftesbury Blvd at Grant Ave in Winnipeg. New photos and website are coming soon, we promise.

The studio is up and running, and the updated gear list is definitely worth a look. 

This week I’ve been working on a great project: the debut album from The Dirty Catfish Brass Band. We’ve been staying up late tracking their ferocious 9-piece shenanigans, eating burritos, and talking chord theory. Nine songs recorded mostly live-off-the-floor. The next few days we’ll be overdubbing the piano and Hammond organ parts (which is nearly my favourite thing in the world) then adding vocals, extra percussion, and assorted yelling. The band kindly booked the CD release (Saturday June 28 – West End Cultural Centre) before booking studio time, so we gotta get this one finished pronto. Stand by to be crushed in the Brass Riot.

Unknown

When I first moved to Winnipeg in the early eighties the hands-down coolest band in town was The Dub Rifles. They straddled the gaps between early punk, soul, ska and R&B, and were miles ahead of their time. Singer/guitarist Colin Bryce has become a great friend and we’ve been performing together in The Driving Wheel, his sweaty rockin’ R&B combo for the past few years. This winter he decided the time has come to revisit The Dub Rifles (who broke up in 1984) for a retrospective CD re-issue titled “No Town No Country”. We spent some time transferring¬†recordings from multitrack tape, stereo tape, vinyl, cassette, hi-fi, lo-fi, – whatever was out there. It’s all been assembled and otherwise refixicated into a complete look back at this seminal Winnipeg band. Look for it soon at discerning record stores or download it at Sundowning Sound.

dub_rifles_cd_2

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Winter 2013

It’s been hoppin’ busy at Wonder Dog Recording so far this year…

This just in: a feature article in The Uniter about Winnipeg producer/engineers. Thanks to Nick Friesen for the kind words and sweet illustration, and also to Dylan Hewlett for the photos.

January started with tracking sessions for a new album by Rinn. This young Winnipeg celtic group recorded their previous album “The Cow That Ate the Blanket” here in 2011. Recorded mostly live, the new record is full of enthusiastic¬†traditional tunes featuring whistles, bodhran, uilleann pipes, mandolin, guitar, piano and more. Mixing is now complete, and the album will be released this spring.

Wonder Dog also hosted sessions for a new band called Say Uncle. We’ve recorded and mixed 6 songs for an upcoming EP. The tunes are written by guitarist/vocalist and head uncle Greg Evans. As is the custom when producing rootsy guitar pop records like this we added a bit of Hammond glue here and there, and tambourine on damn near everything.

Speaking of guitar pop, James Cohen and the Prairie Roots Rockers recently finished recording and mixing 3 new songs. This EP will follow on the heals of their self-titled album recorded in 2011 at Wonder Dog and released on Soccer Mom/Warner. The single “Sweet Lady Jane” will be released in time for Canadian Music Week showcases in Toronto at the end of March.

Also coming out with a new solo album is the wonderful Ruth Moody. She enlisted fellow Wailin’ Jennys chanteuse Nicky Mehta to add some lovely harmonies in a fun couple of sessions this February. The record is produced by David Travers-Smith, and will of course be amazing.

I got involved with an interesting project at this year’s WSO New Music Festival. I packed up the gear for a remote recording of local favourites Royal Canoe. Their midnight concert was a brilliant set of 9 arrangements from the Beck Song Reader project, and was filmed and recorded for later video release…

Upcoming Projects:

On the calendar right now are sessions for Colin Bryce’s soul/R&B-tinged 5-piece combo Driving Wheel, reggae-influenced indie trio Wang the Merciless, and up-and-coming young anti-hipsters Modern Man. Watch this space for more news from Wonder Dog Recording!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Fall 2012

Wonder Dog Recording has recently joined forces with award-winning Winnipeg television producers Linda Nelson and Norm Lussier (Yayo Productions) for an ongoing project I’m really excited about. We have started filming and recording a series of house concerts featuring Manitoba artists. The program will be called House Concert on Kingston. I’m looking after the audio recording, and the results will be ready for broadcast in 2013. Based on the first two shows it’s going to be impressive. So far we’ve presented concerts by Oh My Darling and Dry Bones. The audiences and bands were fantastic, as was the catering by The Grove Pub and Restaurant. Tasty!

I was honoured to be asked to perform at a special concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of the West End Cultural Centre in October. A terrific assortment of Manitoban musicians gathered to sing songs by other Manitoban musicians. My choice was “Wage,” a killer song by Colin Bryce (Dub Rifles), made even better by the talents of Sam Baardman, Daniel Roy, and Don Benedictson who performed it with me. We kinda rocked. My song “Gardens” (written years ago after the death of my father Norm) was given a beautiful reading by Nicky Mehta (Wailin’ Jennys) and Nancy Reinhold (former Wyrd Sisters). Big thanks to Jason Hooper for the invite. Please keep supporting the West End people, it’s a gem.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Summer 2012

Casimiro Nhussi is a percussionist, dancer and choreographer originally from Mozambique. He now lives in Winnipeg, and has begun a special album project at Wonder Dog Recording. With co-producer Rod Hussey Casimiro is recording a series of pieces integrating his African musical heritage with styles and players from around the globe. I’m thrilled to be part of this record, especially when he unpacks all the beautiful but unpronounceable (to me) hand-made percussion instruments and I have to figure out where the mic goes!

Any music fan from this part of the world knows about Jaxon Haldane. As a musician (with The D Rangers) and producer he’s been a big part of the musical landscape for many years. So now he’s up and skedaddled for the southern States, hopefully soon to return. But before he left he dropped by Wonder Dog Recording for a pleasin’ week of tracking with his latest project The Jaxon 3. The repertoire was split between Jaxon’s hurtin’ tunes and some fine selections from the great Willy P Bennett songbook. Drumming by Chris Bauer, bass by Tom Fodey. Oh the fun we had!

Wee Be Jammin’ is a music project headed by children’s entertainer and educator Sonja Rasmussen. She recorded the song “Wake Up!” at Wonder Dog Recording for a combined audio CD storybook, to be published this fall.

Work has been proceeding on the latest album from Equal Loudness Curve. Definitely on the louder end of the spectrum. After tracking drums at Private Ear Recording, the overdubs have been recorded here over the past couple months. Loud guitars, loud bass, loud Hammond organ, loud vocals. We’re now at the mixing stage. Head guy Trevor Millar plans to have the record out early next year, and hopes to melt your face with some live shows at that time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

JP Hoe Holiday EP

JP Hoe recently produced a 6-song original Christmas EP entitled “Holiday Songs” with contributions from a stellar cast of Winnipeg musicians including David Pankratz, Brendan Berg, Derek Allard, Matt and Rebecca Harder, Darcie Meighan and who knows who else.

Six new holiday classics from the pen and voice of JP Hoe, one of Winnipeg’s finest.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

The Wailin’ Jennys record Parton Tribute

The Wailin’ Jennys came by at the tail end of their North American tour for a fun little session. They recorded a stunning a cappella version of “By The Light of a Clear Blue Morning” by Dolly Parton for an upcoming film soundtrack. Mixed by the incomparable David Travers-Smith. Ms Parton has now heard the results, and sent a charming fax thanking everyone for their work. Sweet! Check this space for more details when the film is complete later this year.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed