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TITLE: Morning Hymn

DATE: March 2021

LOCATION: Chalet Studios

MUSICIANS:

Drums … Al Cross

Bass … Dennis Pendrith

Keyboards … David Chester

Guitar … Graham Young

Vocals … Bob Burrows

SONGWRITER: Bruce Cockburn

RECORDING PERSONNEL:

Recording Engineer: Justin Meli

Mixing Engineer: Josh Bowman

Producer: Bob Burrows

GRAPHIC ARTIST: Mike Raines

NOTES:

I first became aware of this wonderful songnot long after Bruce Cockburn came to Toronto from Ottawa and made off with half the band I was in at the time!

When I first saw Bruce perform I quickly understood why they had left our band!

Wanted to get into his band myself and almost did … Bruce was and remains a master guitarist and one of the best songwriters this country has ever produced.

At one point however, he came to believe that someone else should sing his songs.

I auditioned for that gig and actually got the job except that everyone around Bruce at the time, including manager Harvey Glatt, convinced him to sing his own tunes.

Nevertheless I got to hang out with the band, eventually accompanied them to New York where they opened for vibes player Gary Burton at Steve Paul’s The Scene.

First heard Bruce sing this song in his basement where we often congregated.

Fell in love with the song immediately … one of the best songs I have ever heard.

This is essentially a live recording … there are no edits on this track at all.

It was just one take off the floor at the studio on one magical afternoon in March.


TITLE: Risky Business

DATE: June 2019

LOCATION: Chalet Studios

MUSICIANS:

Drums … Al Cross

Bass … Dennis Pendrith

Keyboards … David Chester

Guitar … Graham Young

Piano … Bob Burrows

Vocals … Bob Burrows

SONGWRITER: Bob Burrows

RECORDING PERSONNEL:

Recording Engineer: David Chester

Mixing Engineer: Josh Bowman

Producer: Bob Burrows

GRAPHIC ARTIST: Mike Raines

NOTES:

I wrote this song when I discovered that Alex Lifeson … and for that matter, all the other guys in Rush … know every single note they are going to play at a gig when they get up that morning … every note they play all night is predetermined!

Which flies in the face of this music … that is all based on improvisation.

All the music from which our music has evolved features improv … jazz, blues, country, bluegrass, gospel … what Rush plays is classical music without the dots.

If I were to ask our guitarist, Graham Young, what he was going to play in his next solo he would laugh at me and ask … How the hell would I know?!

In fact when he plays a solo Graham makes it all up in real time as he is playing.

That takes a great deal more skill and capacity than planning everything out ahead!

And by the way, Graham’s guitar work throughout this song is just wonderful.

But if we recorded the song again or performed it live it would probably sound somewhat different than it does here … which in some ways is the whole point!


Updated: Mar 17

TITLE: Sweet Mother Earth

DATE: March 2017

LOCATION: Chalet Studios

MUSICIANS:

Drums … Al Cross

Acoustic Bass … Dennis Pendrith

Mandolin … Graham Young

Fiddle … Brooke Stewart

Harmony Vocals … Jayme Lynn Reed, Bob Burrows

Lead Vocal … Bob Burrows

SONGWRITER: Bob Burrows

RECORDING PERSONNEL:

Recording Engineer: Justin Meli, Dave Chester

Mixing Engineer: Josh Bowman

Producer: Bob Burrows

GRAPHIC ARTIST: Mike Raines

NOTES:

Sweet Mother Earth was written to say something positive about environmental issues … to encourage people to do something positive for the planet in their lives.

And to suggest that something like that was indeed possible … that we could still make a difference if we put our minds to it, though I don’t know if I really believe that given our past conduct and attitude … nothing is out of the question.

Strangely in the adventure of making this song I experienced some revelations.

About the nature of reality, the nature of the universe.

Many, like myself when I started to write this song, often use the term Mother Earth metaphorically … “as if” the Earth was our mother … when in the course of writing I came to realize as many indigenous people understood, that Earth is in fact my mother, the mother who bore all life on her being with help from the Sun.

With some important assistance and essential cooperation from Father Sun.

We were joined on this recording by country singer Jayme Lynn Reed on vocals and Brooke Stewart of Port Hope ON sitting in with us on fiddle.