Age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars invisible by day.
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
SELKIRK RANGE is a singer songwriter project based in Edmonton, Canada. The project focusses on making original music with talented guest musicians and other songwriters.
The project is led by Gordon Gow who is both a songwriter and performer, who has just completed work on the debut album with local producer Everett LaRoi (Manraygun, Goldtop).
The Roots of Selkirk Range stretch back to the late 1980s, when Gordon left home in Calgary and travelled to Vancouver to pursue a career in the music industry as a songwriter, audio engineer, and producer. A backpacking trip through Europe in the early 1990s led him into a new career direction and eventually a PhD in Communication Studies. After establishing himself as a successful academic first at the London School of Economics and then the University of Alberta, Gordon was drawn back to songwriting, inspired and encouraged by his wife and young son.
“Writing silly kids songs for my son and an anniversary tribute for my wife really turned me back on to music in a way that I hadn’t experienced for a long time”, says Gordon. With renewed energy and determination, he enrolled in a songwriting course with the Berklee College of Music, became active with the Songwriters Association of Canada, and directed his efforts to compose nearly 50 songs during a two year stretch of writing and home demo recording. “I had written songs for years but I really learned a lot during that period of intense effort,” he reflects, noting that “it is inspiring to realize how much we can still grow creatively, even after when we enter that mid life point in adult life, when it is so easy to sidestep new personal challenges.”
It was in summer 2015 when he approached Edmonton-based producer Everett LaRoi (Manraygun, Goldtop, Idyl Tea) to produce an album of 7 songs. “We are both about the same age, with families, and well established in our careers, so we decided we would do something fun but also use the opportunity to take my songs to a new level musically. Everett’s been amazing to work with and he brought a lot of talent to this record, both with his own musical contributions and that of a number of terrific guest performers.” Gordon’s 11-year old son also makes an appearance on the record, “I really wanted to include Davis on the record. He’s a talented young drummer, and we found a couple of tracks where he could play percussion parts. I means a lot to be able to share this experience with him.”
The sound of Selkirk Range has been shaped by that collaboration between Gow and LaRoi who both bring to it very different yet complimentary musical influences. The result is a cross between folk, roots rock, country, and Americana genres, combined into unique electro-acoustic arrangements with honest lyrics offered up in Gow’s restrained baritone vocals.
The songs will be of interest to listeners who appreciate artists like Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Petty, Townes Van Zandt, Glen Phillips, The Jayhawks, Bry Webb, Daniel Lanois, the Avett Brothers, and Sam Outlaw.