small town

Victoria Hall

the story behind: “it gets a little lonely”

Downtown Cobourg there’s a big, historic building called Victoria Hall that serves as a theatre, art gallery, museum, and county court. When I visited Cobourg I took a lot of pictures of it, circling it, crossing the street a few times to get close-ups and panoramic shots. My idiocy attracted the attention of an older gentleman who was heading into his favourite cafe (The Buttermilk Cafe). He asked me why I was photographing an old building, but before I could really explain he launched into a soliloquy about preservation, history, and the “differences between old buildings and old people.” He…    read more.


Arnprior

the story behind: “now’s the time”

This song has a rather complicated provenance, but ultimately it’s based on two things: an article about elections that I found when I visited Arnprior, and the superlative nature of the signs you see while driving into small towns. First, the article: it was about how several city councillors in Arnprior would not be running for re-election, and after the main thrust of the article it gave the brief history of some of the councillors – some of whom had long family histories full of council members. That kind of small-town dynasty is interesting, to me, because it involves both…    read more.


"Come Round Again" single cover

the story behind: “come round again”

I started out writing a totally different song. It happens sometimes — you have an idea, it feels like it’s going somewhere, then you get lost in the middle of the second verse and you’re not sure what you’re talking about anymore. As Leonard Cohen says, the thing is that the bad lines take as much effort as the good ones. So what do you do if you wind up in a song full of bad lines? Well, you cannibalize the good ones and write a different song entirely. I had read this “Bonnie & Clyde”-style story about a couple…    read more.


the story behind: “two of a kind”

As you drive into Goderich, Ontario there is a sign, as is true for many towns and cities, that tells you not only the name of the town but also what it’s known for. Goderich’s distinction is to be “Canada’s Prettiest Small Town”. A bold claim, but it could be true. It was given that distinction by the Queen(!), although searching historical records I couldn’t find any sign that the Queen had actually been to Goderich. A Dutch princess may have visited. I’d say that’s still pretty damn good. In 2011 Goderich weathered a tornado — a pretty rare weather…    read more.


 

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