For my 20th album I’ve brought together a collection of original songs – 6 new ones that I’ve written this year – plus fresh versions of several of my earlier songs that have proved popular with concert audiences recently. I’ve also included a re-working of an old traditional favourite: Jimmie Brown The Newsboy, that I learned as a kid from Flatt and Scruggs.
I did the recording at our new place up at the north end of Vancouver Island – in Sointula on Malcolm Island. Rough Bay is an inlet in the waters surrounding the island and forms one end of the village of Sointula – a settlement founded by Finnish coal miners who worked in the shafts that still run beneath our other home on Protection Island.
Without really planning to do so, Milena and I have followed in the footsteps of those Utopian Finns, finding a new home in one of the most beautiful and remote places in Western Canada.
The new CD opens with the title song, Moon on Rough Bay – a song I wrote just this past summer – about life in BC’s remote coastal communities.
It’s followed by musical portraits of two of my earliest, closest and now-departed colleagues: Willie P (Willie P. Bennett) and Broken Promises (Colleen Peterson).
The centerpiece of the album is a pair of new songs about young women in the sex trade – Desert Way and Mother Theresa – that frame my re-take on Jimmie Brown the Newsboy.
From here, the music moves closer to home with two songs about my parents – Little Cross to Bear- about my mother – and One More Song – that I wrote for my Dad.
Moon on Rough Bay winds up with two new pieces I wrote in memory of my late Italian musical colleagues, Umberto Tonnello and Franco Ratti. The closing piece, Twelve for Franco, is a rolling 12-string slide instrumental that brings the album full circle, back to the moon on Rough Bay.
For more detailed information about the stories behind the songs and how I recorded this cd, check out the Blog pages on this website.
Check out my upcoming concerts for 2012 and 2013 on the Tour Dates page. I’m pulling it back a little on the road trips, but still getting out there for some sweet concerts and festivals.