Made my way out to Rosebud, Alberta last night for the CD release party of Me & The Mrs “The Frogs Sang Symphonies”. Although I wasn’t able to stay to the end, what I did see was really a delight, having enjoyed their new CD very much since getting an advance copy before interviewing them for a feature in my Calgary Herald blog.
On that, I also discovered over the weekend that my recording of that phone interview worked out to have some pretty good sound quality, so I have added that to my podcast series – I hope they don’t mind 🙂
The Frogs Sang Symphonies is the result of the couple (Paul & Heather Zacharias) getting a RAWLCO radio grant to support the cost of recording, which took them to my hometown of Winnipeg to make the CD with John Paul Peters of Private Ear Recording.
The outcome from that session is a heartfelt effort with lush and varied instrumental additions that don’t overpower their sound. Lonesome pedal steel sounds that would be right at home on a Hank Williams track back their patriotic reflection of touring in Oh Canada. A Prophet Has No Honour bursts into a rising crescendo of horns above the traditional folk sounds.
Their harmonies are perfect on the beautiful Yours Anyway – the melodies as captivating as the lyrics, songs like that particular one keenly reflecting their deeply rooted folk influences. Throughout the entire disc really, the two reflect back their life in the sights and sounds of a smaller community, with eyes that have seen the rest of the country and its people with insight and commonality. Lyrically, Zacharias has a gift of the storyteller and the composer – a nice combination to bring to your craft in this sort of career endeavour.
Having attended the launch for the new CD, I forgot completely having previewed their first release The Ghosts Of What Became from their website (you can order both albums there directly, and the latest is a digital download in iTunes). My misfortune, I failed to snag a copy.
From that disc at the show last night, they told the story behind Listening To That Sound, a poignant enough track as it is, but even more touching when you know where it came from.
The release party also featured a couple of additional musicians (banjo & violin) backing Me & The Mrs to help recreate the sounds on the CDs, and three warmup performers, Cassia Schramm, Travis Friesen and Natalie Inga – there must be something in the water out there in Rosebud – too bad I didn’t have a chance to try a glass myself before I headed back to Calgary…
Check out my pre-launch feature from the Calgary Herald blog by clicking that hyperlink above, and listen to the audio podcast as well. You can also download that for free in iTunes (ThatDanGuy’s Podcast).
Visit Me & The Mrs online to find out even more – you will not regret picking up either of these albums of rising Canadian folk talent.