Great Lake Swimmers Announce 'Live at the Redeemer 2007'
Listen to "Your Rocky Spine" from the upcoming live effort
Published Feb 25, 2021Great Lake Swimmers have announced they are releasing a new live album. It's called Live at the Redeemer 2007, and it captures the Canadian band's performance at Toronto's Church of the Redeemer back on their spring 2007 tour.
The live effort will arrive on Bandcamp and on vinyl on May 7 and on all other digital platforms on May 14 via (weewerk), and you can hear "Your Rocky Spine" from the release now down below.
The tour was in support of the band's then newly released Ongiara album, and the concert was recorded for CBC Radio broadcast by producer and engineer Ron Skinner, with live sound mixed by Andy Magoffin.
The show featured a few notable guests, including Basia Bulat (backing vocals), Owen Pallett (violin) and Bob Egan (pedal steel).
Speaking of the show's "Your Rocky Spine," GLS frontman Tony Dekker stated, "This version of 'Your Rocky Spine' is especially poignant because it was the first time it was played in front of a Toronto audience. It features a guest appearance on backing vocals by Basia Bulat, and would go on to become one our most well-known songs. As the first song on the album, it was also placed first in the set list, and opened the concert, which took place in the acoustically stunning Church of the Redeemer."
Of the live album as a whole, Dekker also had this to say:
As I write this, we are very near to the year mark of a pandemic that has put much of the world into holding patterns of lockdown, isolation, and closures. It has been devastating on many levels, but there are silver linings; for me, it's been a chance to press pause and reflect, with part of that being a look back, and taking stock. That has led to, in this down time, the opportunity to go through the archives of Great Lake Swimmers live recordings from over the years, and a few things were found that I think are worth sharing.
What you hear on this record is the official release show for our album Ongiara, recorded for radio broadcast by the CBC on April 14, 2007. It was the first time that the new songs were performed in front of a hometown, Toronto audience, and it capped off a tour of Ontario, Quebec, and Western Canada. Days later, we were en route to Europe for a month of tightly scheduled tour dates there. And following that, a whirlwind month-long tour of the U.S. brought us up to a string of summer festival dates. It was a busy year, and looking back on it now, I'm not sure how we survived it. It was the first time that it felt like the music was starting to reach a wider audience.
For this particular show, we were lucky to have local friends and collaborators help expand our four-piece band at the time to a seven-piece, which includes Owen Pallett on violin, Bob Egan on pedal steel, and Basia Bulat guesting on backing vocals. At one point I'm also on stage alone with my guitar.
Spaces have always been important to me, from where the albums are recorded to the rooms in which the songs are shared. Playing and singing in interesting acoustic places, like old halls, and churches, especially, draws out performances that I think have a special quality that you can't quite put your finger on, but can feel are there; notes swirling together in a big open room, bathed in natural reverberation. As a singer, I feel that the performance is transformed by the space, as if it were another instrument, or a member of the band. The space completes the song, in a way, and I think there is evidence of that here.
Down below, check out the full tracklist for the upcoming live album.
Live at the Redeemer 2007:
1. Your Rocky Spine
2. Backstage With The Modern Dancers
3. Various Stages
4. Bodies And Minds
5. Put There By The Land
6. I Am Part Of A Large Family
7. Changing Colours
8. Moving Pictures Silent Films
9. There Is A Light
10. Let's Trade Skins
11. I Will Never See The Sun
12. Passenger Song
13. Where In The World Are You
14. Song For The Angels
15. I Became Awake
16. Imaginary Bars