Sep. 30, 2009 - Issue #728: Fall Style 2009
Songwriter fulfils The Promise in an idyllic setting
Currently in the midst of her sixth UK tour, Corrine West can't get enough
of British audiences and it seems the feeling is mutual. After legendary BBC
DJ Bob Harris played some of her 2004 debut album, Bound for the Living, on
his radio show, he was bombarded with emails wanting to know as much as
possible about the roots songstress. West had inadvertently found a rapt
audience on the other side of the Atlantic.
"[Harris] is dedicated to finding more under-the-radar stuff, and he had a huge response when he played my music, and I got a lot of emails and letters too," West explains. "I ended up flying over there and meeting him, travelling around for a week and meeting all kinds of people. It's impossible to say why my music seems to sit so well with the people over here. I really don't know why, but it's one of those things that you have to follow."
When it came time to record her third full-length album, West and producer Doug Cox thought they'd try a different approach to the process. Instead of heading back into the studio to record in a traditional manner, they journeyed out to Harrison, BC, allowing the idyllic landscape to inform and influence the tone of the music.
"The surroundings had a lot to do with how the record turned out, definitely," notes West. "Harrison is on this huge lake, so we grabbed a cabin and converted it into a studio. We left the windows open so we could see the water and the eagles flying around and everything else. It was perfect, and it was important to give ourselves a place that we could just chill out. Doing it in the city, everyone is just so much more pressed for time."
The surroundings weren't all that was unique about the recording of The
Promise, as it also marked the first time West worked with Doug Cox in a
producer role. After first meeting in 2005 when the pair performed together,
the two reconnected last fall in Alaska when both were teaching at a music
camp. After many late-night jam sessions, West knew she'd found a valuable
"And four months later we were together in the studio," laughs West. "And now here we are, overseas, on tour. Working with Doug was interesting. He thought that my voice wasn't recorded to it's full potential on my other records. He wanted to make it much more of a focal point in the music, and as a result the songwriting and arrangements changed. There was really nowhere to hide. It was challenging, being that exposed—I was used to recording with big, full bands, kind of being neck-in-neck with everyone. On The Promise, we approached it almost like you would a torch song. I was unsure how audiences would react, but the response has been really great." V
Sat, Oct 3 (8 pm)
With Doug Cox
Queen Alexandra Community Hall
(10425 University Ave), $18
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