Songs from 'The River' (2019 Release)

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  2. 2
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  3. 3
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  5. 5
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  6. 6
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  10. 10
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  11. 11
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  12. 12
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For many, rivers are a perpetual life force. They have shaped the landscape over the millennia, they sustain a wealth of biodiversity, and they have greatly influenced our cultural heritage. They provide a means of travel, a source of prosperity, a renewal of spirit and they call to me as a metaphor for the trials of life. The River is a compilation of songs about life experiences and stories of life and times in the Ottawa Valley. The debut album was released on 22 February 2019.

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If you would like to purchase a physical copy of the album in CD format, but you are uncomfortable with making the purchase with PayPal, please contact me by e-mail or phone/text and we'll work this out using other methods.

New Songs in Development

I love conveying, through music, unique stories about people or places or things.  In some cases, documenting these stories through song preserves what would otherwise be a lost or forgotten record.  Here are some of the songs that are in development. 

Title to come - the story of hope of immigrants from Ireland that settled in the Ottawa Valley in the mid-1800s. These folks came to Canada to escape poverty, starvation (potato famine) and oppression. As arduous as it would have been to turn the forested, stony hills of the Opeongo Range into farmland, it was far easier to survive (and thrive) with this settlement challenge than to remain in Ireland.  To this day, there are many reminders throughout the Ottawa Valley of the influx of the Irish at this time, from the names of settlements to celebrations of Irish heritage.  This song was inspired by exploring a mysterious ghost settlement in Ontario called Newfoundout

Title to come - the story of a German pilot from WWII who escaped from a POW (prisoner of war) camp in the remote interior of Algonquin Park (Nipissing River). What is remarkable about this individual is he traveled north from the POW camp using only the north star to guide him. He traveled only at night and hid during the daylight hours. After 3 days (nights) he reached the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) line, where he hopped on a slow-moving train.  His train ride took him westward to Winnipeg Manitoba, where he was recaptured and put in another POW camp. His night travels in a rugged wilderness region were terrifying. This journey happened in May (late spring), when lakes and streams would have been icy-cold, and biting insects would have been emerging, if not constantly feeding on the prisoner. The song will be about the north star journey and, most importantly, the feeling of hope when he first heard the distant rumble of the train.  

Title to come - the story of an old abandoned "depot farm" called Halfway House that supported the bustling logging industry in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Xavier Pilon was the name of the farmer who cleared the land in a remote wilderness area half way between two major hubs in the travels of seasonal workers.  Thousands of men would migrate into the bush to cut giant white pines, staying at lumber camps located throughout the vast forests. The depot farm provided food to lumber camps as well as lodging for the men who traveled by horse-drawn sleigh to the lumber camps. Ruins of old buildings are all that remain today, and there are few records of the Pilon farm.  I have yet to meet with descendants of Xavier Pilon to collect more details of the man and the farm.  This song was inspired by visiting the farm, and enjoying the taste of the rhubarb still growing at the farm. 


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