Art Bergmann’s recent work proves that he is more essential now than ever, adding a vital new link in the chain of an already incredible life in song. As long-time fans, we continue to be stunned and believe he is currently making some of his best work, and this important song, “The Legend Of Bobby Bird” highlights that.
To echo his words, “people should hear this song and they should just weep…and ask for forgiveness.”
Our version hopes to amplify that sentiment and help tell the story of Bobby Bird, adding to the voices calling for truth and reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations, with a hope to learn and continue the healing process from the atrocities of the residential school system.
When asked what he thought of their cover effort, Art had this to say, “The Great Lake Swimmers have taken my song, “The Legend of Bobby Bird” and created something completely new. Tony Dekker’s beautiful voice is mesmerizing. I am thankful. We are blessed by this version.”
Great Lake Swimmers are thrilled to announce their first indoor, full-band show in over a year. On Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 the band will play the Winter Wander festival in the Westdale Village neighbourhood of Hamilton, Ontario at The Westdale Theatre. Show time is 6:00pm.
GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS ARE RELEASING THEIR 2007 PERFORMANCE AT TORONTO’S CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER ON BANDCAMP ON MAY 7 AND ON VINYL / DIGITAL PLATFORMS ON MAY 14, 2021 ON (WEEWERK)
On May 14, Great Lake Swimmers will release the recording of their performance at Toronto’s Church Of The Redeemer on vinyl and digital platforms via (weewerk). The concert capped off the band’s Canadian spring tour of 2007, just days before the group continued on to embark on a full European tour to support the newly released album Ongiara. It was recorded for CBC Radio broadcast by producer and engineer Ron Skinner, with live sound mixed by Andy Magoffin, who also mixed and mastered the recording for this release. The album is notable not only for the grand acoustics of the church, but for the raw first impressions of songs that would become fan favourites, as well as notable guest appearances by Basia Bulat (backing vocals), Owen Pallett (violin), and Bob Egan (pedal steel) in addition to the band’s core lineup. The live set is comprised of songs from the first three Great Lake Swimmers albums; Self-titled (2003), Bodies And Minds (2005), and Ongiara (2007). Live At The Redeemer 2007 will be available on Bandcamp beginning May 7.
Today, audiences can listen to “Your Rocky Spine” from the album. “This version of ‘Your Rocky Spine’ is especially poignant because it was the first time it was played in front of a Toronto audience,” says songwriter Tony Dekker. “It features a guest appearance on backing vocals by Basia Bulat, and would go on to become one of our most well-known songs. As the first song on the album, it was also placed first in the set list, and opened the concert, which took place in the acoustically stunning Church Of The Redeemer.”
LIVE AT THE REDEEMER 2007 TRACKLIST 01 Your Rocky Spine (Live) 02 Backstage With The Modern Dancers (Live) 03 Various Stages (Live) 04 Bodies And Minds (Live) 05 Put There By The Land (Live) 06 I Am Part Of A Large Family (Live) 07 Changing Colours (Live) 08 Moving Pictures Silent Films (Live) 09 There Is A Light (Live) 10 Let’s Trade Skins (Live) 11 I Will Never See The Sun (Live) 12 Passenger Song (Live) 13 Where In The World Are You (Live) 14 Song For The Angels (Live) 15 I Became Awake (Live) 16 Imaginary Bars (Live)
There are a few places to see the group perform live online this month, November 2020.
The first is this evening, Nov. 13th at 7:30pm EST, with a special acoustic trio version of the band in the beautiful Aeolian Hall for their Phoenix Sessions. No audience, but the Hall’s grand piano played by keyboardist Kelsey McNulty and upright bass courtesy of Bret Higgins, along with the acoustically dynamic Hall itself. It includes an in-depth interview with the Aeolian’s Clark Bryan. As some may know, Great Lake Swimmers’ history runs deep with the Aeolian, going back to the recording of 2007’s Ongiara there. See details in the flyer for ticket information, and at https://aeolianhall.ca/events/great-lake-swimmers-3/
The second is coming up on Nov. 28th for CityFolk Festival’s 2020 virtual edition. We’re excited to be part of this lineup and our performance features a full five-piece ensemble of Great Lake Swimmers in front of a socially-distanced, fully-masked audience at the wonderful Almonte Old Town Hall in Almonte, Ontario. Tickets are now available for the online broadcast which will include performances by Jason Isbell, Tim Baker, The Abrams, Tom Wilson, Ben Caplan, Nambi, and Johnny Shay. This was an intensely moving performance as it was the first time our group has played together in over 7 months. More details can be found at https://watch.cityfolkfestival.com/schedule/71036/462584; we hope you’re able to join us online.
Also, a special thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s Bandcamp Friday. Orders have gone out this week. In case you missed it, our full catalogue of LPs, CDs, and digital downloads is available on Bandcamp at https://greatlakeswimmers.bandcamp.com/, including an exclusive album of cover songs, “When We Last Shook Hands: Cover Songs Volume 1” collected from the bands performances over the last 15 years.
Great Lake Swimmers are very excited to be part of a re-imagined Festival of Small Halls next month. On October 25 they’ll be playing at Manotick United Church (near Ottawa, Ontario) with limited, distanced seating. All health guidelines and precautions will be followed. Tickets go on sale today (Sept. 24th) at 10:00am EST. Info at: https://thefestivalofsmallhalls.com/