01 Dec 13
A Quick Note on History
A few weeks ago I presented an overview and recap of Musical Underground Ottawa for an arts and culture event. It dawned on me that I never got around to thanking some of the inspiration for the idea.
A quick aside: many, many thank yous are deserved for this summer. Friends who spent the afternoons with me, came with songs to play, worked on the website, shared ideas, provided equipment, helped get the word out. And others. Just a huge, huge thank you there.
Today I wanted to draw attention to where the idea came from, though.
I’ve always really enjoyed stripped down captures of musicians:
- Ryan O’Reilly – The Mennonites
- Pretty much everything from Blogotheque
- Likewise for Southern Souls in Ontario
- The Carl’s Country Club Youtube channel, especially Caitlin Rose or Luke Winslow-King.
(Some incredible lyrics scattered throughout those musicians. Rose’s “Tell Ma you don’t need their time, it’s yours, it’s not mine, anyway / love’s just one more useless thing you don’t need, but you can’t throw away” or Adam Faucett’s “I know I don’t want kids, I make mistakes, I don’t give them names”)
And eventually I stumbled upon this:
The idea there was to give an artist a guitar and a digital recorder and a week to write and record a song (no editing allowed). Then, the artist would hand the rig off to another songwriter they knew. I thought this was brilliant. To compound it, one of the artists that the guitar found its way to in New York is Jean Rohe. Her song was both musically awesome (incredible vocal melody) and hit home: Meeting of the Citizens Musical Underground, about the amazing players that keep a city’s musical heartbeat going, but that you’ll never hear of unless you wander the streets and small joints.
At the time, I was starting to realize how quietly fantastic the Ottawa music scene one, once one starts digging. So it connected, and Musical Underground Ottawa fell out of it.
I had the chance to meet Dave Adams, the founder of The Acoustic Guitar Project, when I was in New York last week. Really looking forward to where that project goes. And hopefully I’ll get to one of Jean’s shows next time I’m there – she’s lovely, we emailed back and forth when I launched this project, and her album is pretty jawdropping.
So a huge kudos and thank you to Dave and Jean. And you should go check out what they do.