They used to be called ‘records’. It’s old-timey. It has a good sound to it. A record, a sign that something happened, proof, a faithful witness: These stories and songs were recorded live on tours of Australia, New Zealand, Wales and England in early 2017.
Concerts for Turbulent Times they surely were, sonorous hours and rapture. Our times were served by whatever talents of tongue and timbre have been granted the band, by the reckless labours of friends and accomplices met and unmet who fashioned genuine gigs in their home towns from their dreams for a better day, and by the raucous willingness of the sold out houses to be drawn into wonder and poetry and the kenning.
The doors were pried at night’s end, and still many lingered and couldn’t leave or wouldn’t, and there was something like victory in the air, and a weary, luminous midnight rumour that people heretofore unknown to each other could still join for the sake of the young among them and for the world entrusted to them, and that the Mercies count us kin, and that wonder is the currency of the Gods.
It was powerful business. We got home, couldn’t settle in. The recordings turned into something like dry lightning, like something somebody who wasn’t there might want to know about. The band went back to business, made offerings to the dance hall Gods, gave them their proper seat at the proceedings, brought all the road-tested learning to bear, tuned the whole thing up. What you have in your hand is something like thunder and a far-off storm, faithful to those strange, merciful nights.
A storyteller. A band. An evening of mongrel sorrow, dappled by magic and wonder, fringed with regard for the gift of the tongue, harkening and hortatory and bardic and greying, steeped in mortal mystery, uprooted from its uncertain home in the North of America and cast divination-style like bones on a dusty proving ground down under and over in the old dirt. What would you call such a thing? We called it Nights of Grief and Mystery.
Stephen Jenkinson told the stories + played piano on Mother Canoe. Gregory Hoskins sang the songs + played guitars, piano, trumpet, drums, loops.
Track List: 1/ Calling In the Saints 2/ Narco Disbelief 3/ Dead Soon 4/ Mother Canoe 5/ Take A Little Walk 6/ All the Songs of Love 7/ A Dying Nurse 8/ Love Affair in Reverse 9/ Witness! 10/ Miracles (Note: The disc/download has 10 tracks but only 8 separate download files since some tracks are combined into one for audio continuity)
Credit due: Nathalie Roy blessed, birthed and beasted the tours into existence from a standing start, from a long way off. We still don’t know how. This is for her. Gregory Hoskins recorded the shows, edited, (re)engineered, mixed, and mastered the disc at Dead Starling Studio. Natasha Kong worked on the layout of the sleeve, faithful as she is to the orphan wisdom. Aaron Berger was roadie, whipping post, B-roll man and sojourner-in-faith for the Australia/New Zealand tour. His friends carried him there, and then he carried the long, wide load. Justin Bonnet was roadie, navigator and florist for the U.K. tour. Bless his socks. Canada Council for the Arts provided partial funding for the tour.
Produced by Gregory Hoskins
©2017 Stephen Jenkinson, Gregory Hoskins.
Manufactured and printed in Canada.
Unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited.