The Great Lake Swimmers enjoy doing things differently. They recorded their previous four albums in a variety of unorthodox venues, finally making it into a professional studio for their fifth and latest CD “New Wild Everywhere,” and this week, played on a boat on the Seine River in Paris, France.
They will be playing a special fundraiser for CKXU, 88.3 FM, at the Southminster United Church, May 8, put on by Mike Spencer and the Geomatic Attic.
“ All the other records were recorded in spaces like churches. We’d set up a portable recording studio in these spaces. There’s just something special about recording on spaces,” noted guitarist/ singer Tony Dekker from Paris, adding they decided to record in a professional studio at the request of producer Andy Magoffin.
“‘ We thought it would be equally as challenging to record in a proper studio environment. We think it’s a natural progression for us,” he continued.
I feel the band is really starting to gel and playing together better than ever,” he said.
“We feel everything is fitting together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle,” he continued.
They are always ready to experiment.
The lead video for their new CD “ New Wild Everywhere,” is a CGI infused piece set along the Toronto skyline featuring floating trees islands, and a variety of wildlife shots.
“ That was something the director Adam Magoffin. He does a lot of work with CGI. So we had to do a lot of acting. It was a lot of fun,” he said.
The Great Lake Swimmers sound like a cross between Blue Rodeo, the Shins and The Byrds, especially on the latest CD.
“I’m definitely influenced by (Byrds’ album) “Sweetheart of the Rodeo,” and Gram Parsons ,” he said adding the band’s sound has evolved.
“The earlier records were very sparse and they’ve developed into a more folk/ rock sound,” he said.
The new record features violinist Miranda Mulholland.
“She has been in the touring band for the past two-and-a-half- years. She’s all over the new album. She’s been great to have on board,” he continued.
The band has been all over Europe a couple of times and will be winding down their tour on April 27, before taking a quick couple days before beginning their North American tour in Chicago, May. 1.
“We’re really stating to build an audience over here. It’s gone extremely well. We‘ve been starting to play really full houses,” he said adding he doesn’t know why they are so popular in Europe.
“I don’t know why. Music kind of just crosses borders. I guess we’re just one of those bands,” he said.
He can’t choose one highlight of this particular European tour.
“Tonight we’re playing on a boat. It’s a venue, but it’s a boat on the River Seine. So that’s the highlight right now,” he continued.
They have never played Lethbridge.
“You’d think we would have by now, but we haven’t. So we’ll be playing music from all five albums, focusing on the latest one.
There will be banjo and stand-up bass and Miranda will be playing violin and we’ll have a special guest on mandolin,” he said.
“We’re really looking forward to it.”
Cold Specks are also playing. Tickets for the show, which begins at 8 p.m. sharp, will cost $32.50.