I first met Rita back in the old College Pub days. We were all trying new things and experienced tremendous support from the audiences there, which gave us the courage to continue to create. Old Man is a song that always raised the goose bumps on me when Rita sang it... and goose bumps are good!
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instruments; Rita - support vocals
I grew up with Sam Moon in the Shipyard area of Sydney. His love for music came early and it has never left. Girls of Neils Harbour is one of those songs that puts a smile on your face... just like Sam does.
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instruments; Sam - support vocals
Gordie Sampson ... Big Pond ... Nashville ... Grammy ... yeah, he’s got a story to tell all right. He might be writing hit songs for country music superstars these days but, when you hear him play a set of jigs and reels, you know that he knows where home is. Gordie, thanks to you and Bruce for writing Joseph. Let’s dedicate this one to Frank.
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instruments; Gordie - support vocals & atmospheric guitar
I met Jimmy Rankin through working with his sisters on the “Follies” and “Revue” shows. Midnight Angel speaks to me of those interior conversations that we have, sometimes in moments of uncertainty, with a part of ourselves that is missing. In that regard, the song is beautifully written, universal and timeless.
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instrument;s Jimmy - support vocals
Steven MacDougall is the front man and songwriter with the band, Slowcoaster. He is part of a newer generation of Cape Breton writers and has the ability to create great songs without being limited by genre. The song is the thing. Spanish Bay is remarkable in its telling of a story in such an economical manner.
Max - lead vocal;s JP - all instrument;s Steve - support vocals
I first met Leon in 1972 when he gave me my first paid acting job. We’ve gone down a lot of roads together since then. Leon’s passion for exploring Cape Breton’s social and political history through the arts has been a tremendous inspiration to me. Josephine first came to light because we wanted to have a girlfriend for the “Buddy” story. Somehow, this arrangement still has her getting her man... but it doesn’t seem to be Buddy. Go figure...
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instruments; Leon - support vocals
I was a fan of Matt Minglewood before I met him and still am. Getting to sing a bit on his “Red” album was a huge thrill for me. Me & the Boys captures that spirit of innocence that we all had growing up. It also reminds me of the late, great Enver Sampson Jr. who was a dear friend of Matt and mine.
Max - lead vocals; JP - darn near all instruments; Matt - support vocals & blues guitar
I first worked with Bruce Guthro during the 1995 ECMA’s in Sydney when he brought forward the idea for the Songwriters Circle. This concept has done a lot to highlight the wealth of talented songwriters on the East Coast of Canada. Songsmith is an illuminating peek behind the scenes of the solitary craft that all the writers represented on this CD share. Here’s to Sydney Mines, Bruce!
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instruments; Bruce - support vocals
Gilgarry’s Glen is the first song I ever heard JP sing on the first day we met in the mid ‘90s. I was blown away by the imagery, melody and how it spoke to the brave souls who settled here. I never imagined life’s delightful twists and turns would lead me to record it with him.
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instruments & support vocals
Buddy MacDonald and I have shared stories and laughs in a lot of places on the East Coast and as far away as Milwaukee, Glasgow and back. Buddy is a modern day bard whose songs are the community’s story. We Remember You Well is more than just a song. It’s a shared, often unspoken, part of who we are.
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instruments; Buddy - support vocals
Small Town Wind explores the push and pull of emotions that the economic reality of Cape Breton brings to so many families. Duncan Wells is an enormously gifted writer whose songs are like short films. This song has kept me in touch with my own voice over the past number of years while I have been off on other adventures.
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instruments; Duncan - support vocals
Go Off on Your Way was written in 1974, at a time when Cape Breton was experiencing a high level of out migration because of the economic climate of the day. Hmmm... maybe that’s why it seems as if the song was pulled from today’s newspaper. Ronnie MacEachern has been a good buddy for many years and it’s a real pleasure to sing one of his songs here. I’m really pumped to have all the writers come together to sing on this one. Think of it as a postcard that we’re sending from home.
Max - lead vocals; JP - all instruments; Ronnie - support vocals; The CB Songwriters Choir - Leon, Duncan, Sam, JP, Rita, Matt, Jimmy, Gordie, Buddy, Steve, Bruce & Ronnie
Produced, Engineered & Mastered by JP Cormier
Recorded at Cormier Sound Studios*, Cap LeMoine, Cape Breton (May-August, 2008)
*Gordie recorded at Soundpark Studios, Sydney Engineer - Jamie Foulds
*Bruce’s vocals recorded at Birdland Studio, Denmark Engineer - Kristian Gislison
*Jimmy, Ronnie & Sam’s vocals recorded at Fortress Studio, Halifax. Engineer - Brad Stevens
Back Cover Photography - Katheryn Gordon (gordonphoto.com)
Design - Chad Aucoin (iconzone.ca)
Thanks: Wayne MacIntosh, Kirk MacRae, Terry Smith & the ICON Communications Team, Warren & Katheryn Gordon, Lobsterpalooza, Stephen MacDonald, Ralph Dillon, Dave Mahalik, Sam MacPhee and the Celtic Colours Clan
Special thanks to Barbara, JP, and all the wonderful writers who embraced this project.
We acknowledge the financial support of Canada's private radio broadcasters.