Byrds! Byrds! Byrds!
Andy, Fergus, Tim, Cleave & Bob
Byrds! Byrds! Byrds!
Morning Morning News… Again
No, not the subject that nearly kept me in Grade 13 for another year… thanks Mrs. Lister… but those moments when you share a bond with a group of people where you all know that what you have experienced is something special… something that only you will fully understand and truly appreciate. For me it started with sports… going to the Quebec Peewee hockey tournament with Victoria Wood… winning the TDSSA Senior Football Championship in 1976 at NTCI…. and friends… drinking beer with Geoff and Hugh at Bruce Beach just before my 17th birthday… squash nights, beer and baked alaska (a story for another day) with John and Jeff, D’arcy, Barb & Nancy…
and then it turned into music… forming the Skydiggers with Josh, Ron, Peter and Wayne, building a repertoire while playing weekly at the Spadina Hotel… the river trip that was part of the Dawson City Music Festival’s 20th Anniversary with Josh, Peter and Paul… the gang at MapleMusic circa 2003… and most recently the evening that Michael, Lyle, Derrick and I spent with family and friends recording what has become “Leap Before You Look”.
Chemistry… you know it when you’ve got it, but it’s so elusive that you spend your life looking for those perfect moments, where the feeling is effortless and as close to perfection as we flawed humans ever get… I used to take it for granted… not anymore.
April 1st, 2019 (no jokes for me, today…!)
“O Lucky Man”:
Click on (or copy & paste) either the LP or CD link below to preorder your very own copy of Leap Before You Look today!
Tue April 9th – 13th – Dreamwalker Dance Company presents All of Our Dreaming
Andy & Andrea
Tickets – https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/dreamwalker-dance-company-prese…
Thu April 18th – Byrds! Byrds! Byrds!
Andy, Fergus, Tim, Cleave & Bob
Tickets – https://hughsroomlive.showare.com/ordertickets.asp?p=456
The Natural (Hop, Skip and Jump)
That’s Dad caught in mid flight at a track meet at Cobourg Collegiate sometime in the spring of 1940, age 15. Doing the Hop, Skip and Jump… or what we later called the Triple Jump. He was a natural athlete, good at whatever he tried… track & field, baseball, hockey, skiing, golf… he was smooth and graceful, elegant and composed.
After Dad died at the beginning of last August I came across this photo while looking for pictures to include in his celebration of life… and although it’s a little blurry (whose memory isn’t?) and creased (wrinkles… what wrinkles?) this image of my father flying through the air as a teenager, completely in the moment, unaware of all that is to come over the next nearly eighty years, both good and bad, is how I’d like to remember and honour him. As we age and we face the inevitable changes in our lives and our loved ones’ lives let’s not get so caught up in worrying about what may or may not happen that we forget to be in the moment… to miss out on the enjoyment of what’s happening right here, right now. There’s nothing in the album credits about Dad, but I wanted to let you know the meaning that this photo has for me, and why I chose it for the cover of the new album.
With gratitude, and as a proud son,
March 25th, 2019
Leap Before You Look
Maple Syrup Song
It’s Not Alright
The Man Who Sold the World
Back Out on the Road
It’s Different For Girls
Guilty by Association
I Don’t Want to Talk About It
One Last Chance
Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?
O Lucky Man!
recorded before a live audience October 27, 2018 at Revolution Recording, Toronto
The Future’s Not What it Used to Be
Lyle Molzan – drums & vocals
Derrick Brady – bass & vocals
Michael Johnston – keyboards & vocals
Andy Maize – vocals
live sound by Phil Presnal
recorded & mixed by Saam Hashemi
mastered by Peter Moore at the E Room
album design – Catherine McRae
photos – Heather Pollock
Click on (or copy & paste) either the LP or CD link below and be the first kid on your block to preorder your very own copy today!
Release date: May 17, 2019.
Today, Skydiggers are sharing the new video for “Push Comes To Shove” from their latest album, Warmth Of The Sun.
Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZtdzmRkAXs&feature=youtu.be
Don’t miss the last shows of 2017. Ticket links below!
SKYDIGGERS ON TOUR
Wed Nov 29 – Peterborough, ON – Market Hall (tickets: https://goo.gl/L7GGZ3)
Fri Dec 1 – Kingston, ON – Isabel Bader Theatre # (SOLD OUT)
Wed Dec 6 – London, ON – Aeolian Hall – * (tickets: https://goo.gl/cip1mc)
Thurs Dec 7 – Kitchener, ON – Centre In The Square * (tickets: https://goo.gl/SLtLwc)
Fri Dec 8 – Hamilton, ON – Hamilton Public Library * (tickets: https://goo.gl/oXp6KE)
Thurs Dec 14 – Meaford, ON – Meaford Hall * (tickets: https://goo.gl/suoZ6B)
Fri Dec 15 – Barrie, ON – Mavrick’s Music Hall * (tickets: https://goo.gl/BGQwss)
Sat Dec 16 – Gravenhurst, ON – Gravenhurst Opera House * (tickets: https://goo.gl/RmxDnn)
Sun Dec 17 – Midland, ON – Midland Cultural Centre – (tickets: https://goo.gl/L617rv)
Wed Dec 20 – Ottawa, ON – NAC Studio Hall * (SOLD OUT)
Fri Dec 22 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern * (tickets: https://goo.gl/J99GfC)
Sat Dec 23 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern * (tickets:https://goo.gl/k15CUv)
* A Skydiggers Christmas
# A Skydiggers & Friends Christmas – Fundraiser for Kingston Hospice
SKYDIGGERS SHARE NEW TRACK FROM UPCOMING ALBUM
SKYDIGGERS’ WARMTH OF THE SUN OUT OCTOBER 20 VIA LATENT RECORDINGS
TOUR DATES BEGIN NOV 15
Today, Skydiggers are sharing another track from their upcoming album, Warmth Of The Sun. The original idea for album track “An Apology” dates back to early in the band’s life. “I started fooling around with it on one of my writing retreats at the Banff Centre, raising the key to make it a little more plaintive,” say songwriter Andy Maize. “In the recording we added a solo and another bridge to try to get it to the two-minute mark. It’s nice to be able to reach back to older songs that for one reason or another never fell into place. Anything we have written is always there somewhere. Songs sometimes tell you when they are ready. They’re never gone.”
In a time of confusion, anger and division, the Skydiggers’ 9th studio album, Warmth of the Sun, arrives on October 20 as an eloquent and vital plea for compassion, honesty, healing and reckoning with the truth, rendered in the group’s classic folk-rock style.
The 12-track album, which reflects the group’s elemental guitar-based origins and plaintive layered vocal style, was recorded by longtime band associate Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) and will be released via Latent Recordings label on CD, digital download, and — in a first for Skydiggers’ 30-year career — on vinyl.
The urgency and immediacy of the songs is reflected in how the record was made. Several are presented in live-off-the-floor versions, often with live vocals intact, lending the LP an air of immediacy, vitality and intimacy, reflective of the band’s storied live shows. It’s also evidence of the strength of the road-honed band lineup featured on the record: the rhythm section of Derrick Brady (bass) and Noel Webb (drums), vocalist Jessy Bell Smith and the most recent addition, multi-instrumentalist Aaron Comeau.
Finlayson adds, “If there was an agenda, it was that we wanted more of a guitar centric record. We very much love this version of the band. Most of the tracks were recorded in two days and we didn’t spend a lot of time on overdubs.”
The songs draw from a number of sources, everything from recent collaborations between Finlayson and Maize (“Like A New Beginning”) to songs that date back to the dawn of their collaboration in the 1980s (“An Apology”). “Show Me The Night” features an emotive vocal from Jessy Bell Smith and dates to a songwriting session between Finlayson, Tom Wilson (Lee Harvey Osmond, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings), Thompson Wilson, and Stephen Fearing (Blackie & The Rodeo Kings). “Push Comes To Shove” was one of several songs drafted by Maize during songwriting retreats at the Banff Centre and Finlayson’s “When You’re On A Roll”, co-written with Kevin Douglas, was penned during his frequent songwriting sojourns in Nashville. The set also includes two heartfelt covers: The Tragically Hip’s “The Rock” from The Depression Suite and “The Air That I Breathe”, best known in The Hollies’ hit version.
“Warmth Of The Sun is a reflection of the live band, how good the players are, how quick they are,” says Maize. “And we wanted to capture that energy and not overthink it.”
The result can only be described as a classic Skydiggers album, one that can sit shoulder to shoulder alongside milestone records in the group’s catalogue like Restless, Just Over This Mountain and Road Radio. “It’s a privilege to have had this opportunity to share our music with people for so many years,” says Finlayson. “Warmth of the Sun reflects our lives right now, and we’re lucky to share it with people and let it become part of their lives.”
WARMTH OF THE SUN TRACKLIST
01 Warmth Of The Sun
02 Push Comes To Shove
03 Don’t Try To Explain
04 Show Me The Night
05 The Rock
06 An Apology
07 Like A New Beginning
08 Needle & Thread
09 Time Of Season
10 When You’re On A Roll
11 Nothing Lasts Forever
12 The Air That I Breathe
SKYDIGGERS ON TOUR
Nov 15 – Winnipeg, MB – West End Cultural Centre
Nov 16 – Calgary, AB – The Ironwood (tickets) Nov 17 – Calgary, AB – The Ironwood
Nov 18 – Edmonton, AB – The Needle Vinyl Tavern
Nov 20 – Saskatoon, SK – The Broadway Theatre
Nov 29 – Peterborough, ON – Market Hall
Dec 1 – Kingston, ON – Isabel Bader Theatre #
Dec 6 – London, ON – Aeolian Hall *
Dec 7 – Kitchener, ON – Centre In The Square *
Dec 8 – Hamilton, ON – Hamilton Public Library *
Dec 14 – Meaford, ON – Meaford Hall *
Dec 15 – Barrie, ON – Mavrick’s Music Hall *
Dec 16 – Gravenhurst, ON – Gravenhurst Opera House *
Dec 17 – Midland, ON – Midland Cultural Centre *
Dec 20 – Ottawa, ON – NAC Studio Hall *
Dec 22 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern *
Dec 23 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern *
* A Skydiggers Christmas
# A Skydiggers & Friends Christmas – Fundraiser for Kingston Hospice
We’ve got some fun shows coming up. Hope to see you there!
We’ve got your Monday Morning News:
A couple of things we wanted to tell you about this week… firstly, Andy will be performing with the Art of Time Ensemble this week at the Enwave Theatre in Toronto in “Doghouse Roses”, an evening of Steve Earle’s music and writing. Andy will be singing three songs in the show, including a duet of Poison Lovers with the incomparable Oh Susanna.
When asked why Steve Earle’s music is important to him, Andy says, “What’s not to like about a hopeless romantic who has a way with words, a gift for melody, a political conscience and no fear of commitment? He must be doing something right if he’s been married seven times…”
You can find more details and ticket info here http://artoftimeensemble.com/concert/doghouse-roses
And secondly, as the countdown begins to the release of our new album in October we want to congratulate producer Michael Timmins for doing the soundtrack of the film “Maudie”, with keyboard and accordion contributions from Michael Johnston.
Way to go, Mike!
Keep an eye out for more news and stuff on the new album every Monday morning – and don’t forget to get outside and enjoy the spring!
Skydiggers – May 2017
Hello friends! We are sorry to announce that our concert scheduled for Friday, September 9 has been postponed until Saturday, February 25, 2017. You will not need to exchange your original tickets; they will be accepted on the new date. Should you be unable to attend the new date, a refund can be arranged by sending us an email at email@example.com or giving us a call at 416-872-4255.
HERE WITHOUT YOU – THE SONGS OF GENE CLARK OUT NOW VIA LATENT RECORDINGS
“Masterfully interpreted” No Depression
“Long one of Canada’s most emotionally eloquent singers, Maize is in top form here” Exclaim!
“an essential chapter in the band’s impressive catalogue” Jaded and Elated
“a passionately executed eight-song survey of Clark’s finest moments …a treasure” FYI Music News
“Andy Maize has an ability to draw us in, entrance us, and hold us on every word” Top 100
On May 13 Skydiggers released their new album, Here Without You – The Songs of Gene Clark, interpreting the works of one of the world’s most treasured songwriters. The eight song collection covers, and in some cases radically reinvents, timeless Gene Clark compositions. After sold out shows at Hugh’s Room in Toronto and The Black Sheep Inn in Ottawa the iconic Toronto band has announced what promised to be a very special performance on September 9 at Harbourfront Centre. Ticket pre-sales begin today and more information can be found HERE.
Those familiar with Skydiggers’ live set will know that they often include covers, however Andy Maize explains that “there is something about Gene Clark’s songs that struck a deeper chord with us. This doesn’t feel like a tribute record, because the songs have always felt personal. It’s hard to explain, but they feel like something we would have or could have written — we’re just very glad Gene Clark did write them.”
Out now via Latent Recordings and recorded by Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) Here Without You is a deep roots connection for Skydiggers. “It seems like we’ve been fans of The Byrds forever, so to say that we’ve just discovered Gene Clark’s songwriting contributions to the band makes it seem like he’s been hiding in plain sight all of these years,” says Skydiggers. “In this discovery we have made a connection to our roots; not just to the roots of folk rock and the Woody Guthrie / Bob Dylan (or Gene Clark in the New Christy Minstrels) style of folk singing but back to the Appalachians and across the ocean to the songs of the Brits and the Scots. Our album Here Without You is our attempt to capture the essence of our roots as distilled through Gene Clark’s songs.”
Even if you’re not familiar with the name Gene Clark, there’s a good chance you know his music. He was a founding member of iconic 60s group, The Byrds, and went on to make many more solo records after parting with the band. Since his death in 1991 at 46, compilations and collections of unreleased material have added to his song catalog and songwriters and singers have been effusive in praising his work and raiding his songbook. Everyone from The Eagles and Tom Petty to This Mortal Coil; Linda Ronstadt to Paul Weller; Robert Plant & Alison Krauss to Teenage Fanclub have recorded his songs. Kanye West even sampled The Turtles’ version of Clark’s “You Showed Me” on his record My Beautiful Dark Twisted Life.
Finlayson explains, “the timelessness of Gene’s work is built on a traditional music foundation. But as we pulled the songs apart and listened to some demo versions of his songs, we began to hear how innovative and unusual his approach was; the way he could go from major to minor chords, the way the chords are suggested by the melody, his turns of phrase. It’s so unique.”
Here Without You is a singular achievement and finds common ground in the same generosity of spirit found in both Clark’s songs and more than 25 years of Skydiggers music.
HERE WITHOUT YOU – THE SONGS OF GENE CLARK TRACKLIST
1. 8 Miles High
2. Here Without You
3. One in a Hundred
4. Set You Free This Time
5. Feel a Whole Lot Better
6. The World Turns All Around Her
7. So You Say You Lost Your Baby
8. She Don’t Care About Time
June 15/16/17 – Halifax, NS – The Carleton (Acoustic Trio)
July 1 – Picton, ON – The Hayloft
Aug 13 – Winnipeg, MB – Interstellar Rodeo
Sept 9 – Toronto, ON – Harbourfront Centre
Sept 24 – London, ON – Aeolian Hall
Five Questions With… Andy Maize of Skydiggers
By Jason Schneider
Skydiggers’ latest album, Here Without You: The Songs Of Gene Clark (Latent Recordings), seems at first glance like a project that’s just been waiting for someone to tackle. For Americana aficionados, Clark has always been an underappreciated enigma, but since his death in 1991, his music has continued to have a profound influence on succeeding generations of singer/songwriters.
As a founding member of The Byrds, it was Clark who first emerged as the band’s original voice, contributing his own equally top-notch material to balance their Bob Dylan covers. And upon his departure after co-writing arguably their greatest achievement, “Eight Miles High,” Clark went on to pioneer “country-rock” with the Gosdin Brothers and Doug Dillard, and later produce sporadic, but consistently moving solo albums such asWhite Light and No Other.
Although Clark came back into vogue after Robert Plant and Alison Krauss covered two of his songs on their Grammy-winning Raising Sand (and Kanye West sampled “You Showed Me” on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), he has never received the constant outpouring of tributes that some of his more glamorous peers like Gram Parsons get.
Enter Skydiggers, whose original three-voice line-up was in some ways modeled after the Clark-era Byrds. Now 16 (more or less) albums into their 25-plus years together, principal members Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson have come full circle on Here Without You, a passionately executed eight-song survey of Clark’s finest moments, accentuated by their frequent collaborator Jessy Bell Smith on vocals.
The album is a treasure for Skydiggers fans, and for those who may only know Gene Clark’s work in passing, it provides a solid introduction to his deep catalogue of memorable songs.
What makes Gene Clark’s songs so timeless?
I’m not sure you can ever point to one thing that makes a song timeless. In the case of Gene Clark’s songs, I think that it’s a combination of his melodies and lyrics that have resonated with me.
His work has always been overshadowed by many of his peers. Why do you think that is?
From what I’ve read about him, Gene Clark seemed to have the ability to engage in a bit of self-sabotage—something that’s not unheard of in the world of rock ‘n roll and popular music in general. Whether it’s ego, addiction, poor choices in relationships or that old standby, personal and artistic insecurity and self-doubt, those of us who have been in the music business long enough all know people who had all the talent in the world but couldn’t seem to get out of their own way.
What has been the biggest change in your life (or within that band) over the past year?
I think over the past year I’ve realized just how grateful I am for all of the people in my life and for all of the opportunities that a life in music has given me.
Skydiggers are approaching 30 years as a band. What has kept your creative partnership together?
Respect. Friendship. Love. Curiosity.
If there is anything you’d like to change about the music industry, what would it be?
Less industry, more music!