-About the album:
My new album, "Strange New World", is a collection of tunes, that for me, deal with relevant issues of our day, using the force of the blues to drive the point home. I've loved and played the blues since my musically formative years. When I was only interested in learning the entire Nirvana catalog, my uncles set aside some records for me to learn and listen to. One of them taught me how to play harp as soon as I built up enough of a thirst. That set me on a long journey exploring blues and roots music.
I’ve always wanted to record a totaly analog album. “Strange New World” was recorded entirely on an 8 track 1/2" reel to reel tape recorder. I chose to record it in this fading format for several reasons. The top most being sound quality and feel. You still can't beat tape. Workflow was also a major consideration. I simply work better at an analog rhythm. It was also a great advantage to be truly alone, which I believe cannot be achieved while looking at a computer screen.
It also helped that Winnipeg multi-instrumentalist, and producer of Vince Andrushko’s upcoming album, Jesse Reimer, for some reason trusted me with his Ottari 8 track reel to reel machine. I got very attached to that recorder, and have yet to give it back...
-In a 100 year old house
I chose to record in an old house in Wolseley, the picturesque neighbourhood where I live in Winnipeg. I woke up everyday early and worked from 9-5 to avoid irritating the upstairs neighbors too much. It took 6 weeks.
-A little help from my friends
I had help on several of the tracks. Each of the members of the F-Holes put in their contributions in their respective ways. Evan Friesen shakes things up with a Louisiana feel on "In Times of Plenty". Jimmie James Mckee is unmistakable on “She Takes My Blues Away”. It wouldn't be an album if Eric Lemoine only played one instrument on it, so he contributed some electric bass, and resonator. Blake Thomson was there in spirit, and in gear, as much of the microphones and preamps used were from his library.
Winnipeg drummer extraordinaire Joanna Miller contributes her feel to a couple songs, as does the ever talented Dwayne Dueck, who is asleep behind me in the touring van as I write this. My cherished cousin Denis Funk came in to rip some harp on "Don't You Think It's Time". And when it came time to record the gang vocals for "She Takes My Blues Away", he, singer/songwriter Sean Burns, and Winnipeg producer Murray Pulver, were the closest at hand on that Tuesday morning.
Providing a smooth pair of backing vocal on the song "on my mind" is Jess Reimer and Brooke Wylie. Both excellent front ladies in their own rights.
Other than that, I played all the other instruments, and really enjoyed the challenges of engineering. I wanted to keep the album honest, so i made no edits. I can truly say, this is my best. I hope you enjoy it…
Patrick Alexandre Leclerc