A couple of signposts on the road from what I was doing in ’89 to one of the biggest selling projects I worked on.
In ’89 I had been doing sessions with Loreena McKennitt at Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton. Some very interesting things had developed during those sessions. For example, we made a sort of epic out of the Christy Moore song “Ride On” with the great Bill Dillon on steel guitar and Loreena singing in a somewhat uncharacteristic picaresque style. Unsure what to do with the dark and mysterious “Ride On”, if memory serves Loreena went for a version of Greensleeves (linked below) as a way of clearing the air.
Eventually this was included on her CD “The Visit” – and as it happens I ended up sharing the Juno award that following year with Jeff Wolpert for “Engineer of the Year”. I was hardly deserving of it, but willing to go up to the podium and get the thing, so I was in Toronto in the spring of 1993.
During that visit I got a call from Andy Maize of the great band Skydiggers, asking if I wanted to try a mix or two on their new record, “Just Over This Mountain”. I said “of course!” (needing work) and had a go at the title track.
As I was printing it I thought “Hmm I feel this is a bit straight – maybe I’ll do a messed-up version” and printed that as a kind of joke.
I guess it went over well – I ended up mixing the whole album.
While doing that I guess the guys in Skydiggers were having drinks with the guys in Blue Rodeo and my name may have come up… They had a project they had recorded with Doug McClement’s Comfort Sound Mobile, on location at Greg’s house in the country.
During the final days of the mix we had a visit from Sarah McLachlan.
During that 4 years I had relocated to Los Angeles, started a career mixing film scores, become a father.
Meanwhile, my business in Toronto had meandered from one beautiful celtic-flavored singer to another over same 4 years, connected by happenstance and the soul of the music.
Life is a wandering wagon and we are passengers.