how it started...

The Unrequited Love turns two.

 L to R: Karl Valiaho (sax), Elizabeth Curry (bass), Jeremy Sauer (keys), Tyler Hammer (drums), moi, Cheney Lambert (trumpet), Anna Rose (vocals), Chris Sleightholm (electric guitar).

L to R: Karl Valiaho (sax), Elizabeth Curry (bass), Jeremy Sauer (keys), Tyler Hammer (drums), moi, Cheney Lambert (trumpet), Anna Rose (vocals), Chris Sleightholm (electric guitar).

I had a booking in Swift Current on February 15, 2014 at The Lyric Theatre. A Saturday night. And when you have a gig with an eight piece band on a Saturday night, you may as well have one for Friday night too... and why not record the show?! And then release an album! Yeah!!! Ideas are like glitter! They just get all up in everything, and are hard as hell to get rid of.

So, that meant a gig on February 14th. Barf. What to do?

I did not want to be the date night for Valentine's that year. I tried that once and I ended up getting all snarky and sour... and then made myself sick by eating too much of the venue's cheesecake. My solution was to name the eight piece The Unrequited Love and gather up an audience who were cynical. Y'know, like me.

People still made it a date night. My cynicism could not dampen their love – which is a blessing in hindsight. And other people came out because they were down with my inner curmudgeon. Were even thankful for my un-Valentine-ness. Somehow it all worked exceedingly well – the weekend of shows and the recording.

Posters for the 2014 concert recording and 2016 record release.
Left by Caribou Creative, right by Terri Fidelak.

Afterwards, the live recording was attentively edited, mixed, and remixed thanks to collaborations with Jeremy Sauer, Elizabeth Curry, and tireless engineer/magician, Orion Paradis at SoulSound. We mastered it up, and I planned a release show at The Artesian for March 5th, 2016. The creation of The Unrequited Love was the first time I felt like a producer, and it's cause I friggin' well earned that title.

After two years of promoting The Unrequited Love I've reflected again and again on what the title means. The album's artwork conveys the feelings I had about the music industry at the time: cold, vast and difficult to navigate for an independent, self-represented songwriter. But inside? That's where the fire is for me. Where my heart thrives, and where I'm able to give what talents I have in this world over to the generous folks who see the merits of having a good singing voice.

In these years I've learned that you can love a career in the music industry all you like, but it ain't never gonna love you back the way you want. And honestly? I don't give a sniff. I can love hard enough to appreciate it for what it is. And I know I have y'all at my side.

Thanks for your love and support, and for helping me hang on tight. And a special shout-out to the artists that worked away at this with me, hitherto unmentioned: Chris Haynes on the live recording, the folks at the Artesian on 13th for the venue, Monique Blom on the album artwork, April McDougald on the photo shoot hair, Avril Biggin on the graphic design, Danni Knox on the photo shoot make-up, Carey Shaw on the album photography, and Total Sonic Media on the mastering.