CD Release Show

Selkirk Range will be performing a CD release show in Edmonton at Cafe Blackbird on April 6.

Yes, I know, it’s been a few months since we released the album but we decided to wait until Spring to celebrate it.

Join us for family-friendly show at a wonderful venue that supports local music in Edmonton.

New single for December

The holidays can be a difficult time for those away from home.  Here’s a new single from the album that conveys the loneliness of Christmas amidst  the stark beauty of a northern Canadian winter.  Dedicated to all those who will be away from their families this year.

First single now available

We’re thrilled to release the first single off the album.  Yellowhead West — a song for that other great Canadian highway stretching across the prairies and into the mountains– was a finalist and received special mention in the Jameson Upstart category at the 2016 Ship & Anchor song contest in Calgary and I’m pleased to be able to share it with you.

Become a fan of Selkirk Range at Reverbnation before November 22 and help build the buzz.  I’ll send you a link to the pre-release digital download copy of the album.

Album artwork

 

Here’s a peek at the artwork for the forthcoming album.  The painting is titled “Rasht” by Ottawa-based artist Taymaz Valley.  He has  very kindly given me permission to use this piece for the record, and I would like to thank Renee La Roi for her assistance in pulling all the design elements together for the CD packaging and online graphics.

I was drawn to the organic feel of the painting and brilliant use of colour.  The river, tree, and house all speak to elements and themes within the songs on the album.  That combination was simply irresistible to me.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Stay tuned for a special announcement later this week about the release date for the album and a special pre-release offer for fans of Selkirk Range.

Closing in on a release date

Final mixes are done and we are sending the tracks to be mastered at Golden Mastering in California in the coming week.

From there, we will send master tracks for replication on a small run of CDs, as well as uploading to CD Baby for distribution to various online retailers, including iTunes.

It will be a soft launch of the record in November, meaning that I will release some or all of the album but plan for a more formal release event in the coming months.

Everett’s been wonderful to work with throughout this process, and I’m very pleased with the results so far; and especially for the opportunity to work with some talented musicians who performed on the record.

Stay tuned for more soon.

 

SAC 2016 4X4 Challenge update

I am delighted to announce that one of my songs for the SAC 2016 songwriting challenge made the special mention list.

The challenge was coordinated through a closed Facebook group with 82 members, many of whom submitted songs for consideration each week.  Moderators listened and commented on all of the submissions, while the challenger was asked to picked a few of the songs for special mention.

The goal for Week 2 was issued by Northern Pikes member Bryan Potvin who challenged us to write a song that tells a story.  My song “Can’t Take it Back” was one of three chosen by Bryan, who wrote

Selkirk Range’s “Can’t Take It Back” is killer country music. Country has always been a genre that relies on ‘the story’.  This tune totally delivers, complete with a gorgeous melody and heartfelt performance.

Thank you for this Bryan.  It means a lot to get positive feedback on something that has consumed much time and energy (not to mention patience) to create.  And a special thank you to Rosanne Baker Thornley and North Easton for the tremendous–and I mean tremendous–effort they both put into the Challenge as moderators and mentors.

The song was written too late for the upcoming release, but maybe this is the motivation I need to consider doing a follow up single for next year.

 

SAC 2016 SONGWRITING CHALLENGE WEEK 4

I’m late submitting this week but I met the challenge.  This week we were asked by Toronto-based singer-songwriter Emma-Lee to “tie two tunes together” by marrying parts from different unfinished songs into a new composition.

This was a hard challenge in part because I have many unfinished ideas but trying to bring them together in a new arrangement is surprisingly difficult.  Different rhythms, different keys, different moods, etc.  After sifting through my iPhone scratch recordings for some time, I finally decided to merge a melody from one fragment of an idea with a guitar riff from another.

The chorus was part of the guitar riff idea and the melody came from a very different song idea so I essentially had to write the lyrics from scratch.  The chorus is suggestive of a theme but I had to work out an angle on it.  In this case the lyrics aren’t too specific but lend themselves to a relationship-type song.  I decided I also wanted to keep it simple and short, so I opted for two verses with a short bridge, bringing the whole thing in under 3 minutes.

It’s a bit more pop than what I’ve been writing lately and the production is more than I would usually do for this kind of demo but I had fun with it, and that’s what matters

We’ve Both Been There

I know that love can be confusing-
when it undermines those plans you made
But I also know it bears repeating-
you’ve got two choices when you’re scared

We’ve both been there
We’ve both been there

I know frustration likes to hang around-
ticking like a time bomb that you wear
Before it blows you need to recognize-
there are others out there who still care

We’ve both been there
We’ve both been there

And I won’t tell you no lies-
cause I can see in those eyes
we’ve both been there

We’ve both been there

Words and music by Gordon Gow, Copyright 2016
Featured Image by Holly Jay flic.kr/p/sjJRJA

 

SAC 2016 SONGWRITING CHALLENGE WEEK 3

This week’s challenge from Michael Perlmutter from Instinct Entertainment was to do a co-write with another participant.  The subject of the song was to be about “relationships” and the process was intended to allow us to be able to share our own experience “with a co-writer may help to craft the story and share the feeling in a more profound way.”

Collaboration presents many challenges unto itself; not the least of which is finding a time  and place to do it.  Online connections are good but face to face is probably better for me, and unfortunately that wasn’t going to happen this week because of other commitments.  However, I did manage to contact two Edmonton-based writers, BoneDog Dixon and Shauna Specht, both of whom I met through the SAC Edmonton Regional Writers Group.

My approach going into the challenge was to lend what I feel are my strengths in lyric writing to the collaboration.  Given the time constraints I also felt it better to draw on some material that was already somewhat developed rather than trying to create from scratch.

I write lyrics in tandem with music, using it as a kind of scaffolding for the process.  The scaffolding can then be pulled back to reveal a lyric.  That was the case with both of these songs.

I offered to send BoneDog a lyric with the title “That Love Ain’t True”, which is about the kind of relationships that really aren’t honest or healthy.   I felt that it fit with his blues-influenced approach to songwriting.  Originally it was written with a series of short verses followed by a refrain.  BoneDog suggested I expand the verses and he added some additional elements to the lyric.  His musical approach is really interesting, and very different from what I would have imagined for the song.  I like it, and think that if we were to continue working on it that I’d want to do an overhaul of the verses to give it a stronger coherence internally and possibly inject some dark humour into it.

I offered Shauna a lyric with the title “Save it for the Brokenhearted”, which is about a long term relationship that has come to an end;  however, it’s not a sad ending but rather two lovers who have reconciled with themselves about it and realize it’s time to move on.   Shauna was drawn to the theme but decided to take it in quite a different direction than the original lyric.  She retained some of the thematic elements and a few lines but it is also a completely different song after the co-write.  I’m impressed with what she’s done with it in such a short time span and now have a greater sense of how an idea in a co-write can develop in unexpected directions.  If we had more time to work on it together I’d probably press for a different chorus as part of the co-writing process.  Nonetheless, my compliments to her for this song, which is now called “The Book of You and Me

Overall, it was a great experience this week and it’s encouraged me to start thinking more seriously about the possibilities of doing more co-write experiments.