sophomore year

we're going in for another album...

It takes a village. Getting purdied by Dani and April for  The Unrequited Love  album's photo shoot with Carey Shaw.

It takes a village. Getting purdied by Dani and April for The Unrequited Love album's photo shoot with Carey Shaw.

A year ago, in March 2016, I released The Unrequited Love. It was an album that was supposed to be a wham-bam live concert recording that would catch listeners up on the way I like fusing all the early forms of American music – blues, 1950s/60s' country, swing and then some folk songs to be the sonic fascia between it all.

And T.U.L. did all that. But there was no wham-bam, I tell you what. It was an effort in attention and careful decisions like any other album that I've released. There were learning curves galore. The takeaway: A live album is no shortcut.

Plus, between its recording in February 2014 and its release in March 2016, I joined another band, Blake Berglund + The Vultures. With that commitment I invested countless hours singing out of tune until I nailed how to harmonize. I devised and released a 7" vinyl with Blaker. I self-booked a shit tonne of dates across Canada. I went through some major personal upheaval around grief, stress management, and finding a life/work balance that continues to be just that: a balancing act.

The Unrequited Love brought a lot of learning my direction. It taught me how to give space to the inevitable changes that will come in any work in the arts. How to lean in with collaborators so that they may bring you their best. How to see my career for what it is: a marathon, not a dash.

And now, I'm looking ahead to doing it again. I signed up for over a month of studio time with Jason Plumb, who I've been able to work with on Blake's Realms and Colter Wall's Imaginary Appalachia records. Jason has been a huge supporter of my development, and he's promised to push me around, creatively speaking. He claims I've written a blues record... so get ready for that.

So if you've been wondering why I haven't been touring as much, this is it. I've been wood-shedding. If you've asked me or yourself if I'm still doing this music thing, I assure you that I am. I'll just be continuing taking a little break from the heavy Belle Plaine touring of years past to dig in with Jason.

That said, I will be out hot and heavy with The Vultures in 2017. I have a ripping honkytonk record to promote with my new family of dudes. 

FYI, I'm doing a solo show this week. Before I go into the depths of the low-lit studio and spill my guts into the microphone. If you want to hear some of what's getting on this new record of mine, and you live local to Regina, come out and hear me sing the tunes at the Creative City Centre on Tuesday night. Save yourself a few bucks and grab advance tickets here.

love + gratitude



Melanie HankewichComment