New Covers Album on Bandcamp June 5th When We Last Shook Hands: Cover Songs Volume 1; Live Concert Stream on June 14th

We’re proud to announce a new album of cover songs released today (June 5th) exclusively on Bandcamp. (Link: www.greatlakeswimmers.bandcamp.com)

When We Last Shook Hands: Cover Songs Volume 1 is a collection of covers recorded by Great Lake Swimmers over a period of about 12 years, between 2007-2019. Most of the songs have been released in one form or another as part of compilations, live sessions, or album bonus tracks, but there are also a handful of songs that are just now seeing the light of day, including the lead track, “Come A Long Way,” written by Kate McGarrigle. They are gathered together here for the first time.

The recordings are from such disparate sources as Studio 101 in New Orleans, Mailmen Studios in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and locations closer to home like The House Of Miracles in Ontario, Canada. We feel that they’ve come together as a cohesive whole despite their differences in time, space, and iterations of the band.

The project was overseen by long-time collaborator Andy Magoffin, who mastered the album and sonically brought it together. The cover artwork was created by Adam CK Vollick.

Track list:
01 Come A Long Way (Kate McGarrigle)
02 Dublin Blues (Guy Clark)
03 Before They Make Me Run (The Rolling Stones)
04 What Was Going Through My Head (The Grapes Of Wrath)
05 The Storms Are On The Ocean (The Carter Family)
06 Don’t Cry No Tears (Neil Young)
07 Willow Tree (Chad Vangaalen)
08 The Things That People Make, Part 3 (The Burning Hell) 
09 The Dark Don’t Hide It (Magnolia Electric Co.)
10 It Keeps Me Up (Museum Pieces)
11 The Desperate Kingdom Of Love (PJ Harvey)
12 You Know More Than I Know (John Cale)
13 My Sweet Relief (Martin Tielli)
14 Innocent When You Dream (Tom Waits)

We are acutely aware of the unrest happening in the world right now, especially in the United States, and join with many in outrage and protest. Partial proceeds from the sale of this album today and on June 19th will be donated to Black Lives Matter – Toronto.

Follow us on Bandcamp:

https://greatlakeswimmers.bandcamp.com/follow_me

Tony Dekker Live Stream on June 14th

On Sunday June 14th Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers will be streaming a live set as part of #NiagaraPerforms in association with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Mark your calendar and tune in at 4pm EST on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FirstOntPAC/), Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/FirstOntarioPerformingArtsCentre), or the Performing Arts Centre website (https://firstontariopac.ca/online/Article/NiagaraPerforms). This is a free event.

New Live Album On Bandcamp: “Live In Ottawa at The 27 Club 2019-10-03 & Split 7″ / 45 RPM Single with Picastro

The artist-friendly music platform Bandcamp is waiving its revenue share today, Friday May 1st, to help support artists who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of that, we’re releasing a live set from our show last fall in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada’s capital city) exclusively on our Bandcamp site to stream or purchase for the next four weeks: https://greatlakeswimmers.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-ottawa-at-the-27-club-2019-10-03
We miss the live music experience as much as you probably do, so hopefully this is an alternative that you can enjoy from the comfort and safety of your own home. It is a fan recording, and although it has some audio inconsistencies, we think it makes up in performance and spirit what it might lack in technical fidelity. That’s a big part of what we like about live music to begin with. Checking out music on Bandcamp, especially today, is a great way to support the music and musicians that you love in these times.

Follow us on Bandcamp: https://greatlakeswimmers.bandcamp.com/follow_me

Split 7″ / 45 RPM Single with Picastro

The April solo acoustic tour of Europe with Liz Hysen of Toronto band Picastro has unfortunately been postponed due to the pandemic. The intention of the tour was to perform the scaled back, minimalist songs from “The Waves, The Wake (Acoustic)” and some of the collaborative tracks from Picastro’s excellent new record, “Exit.” We also pressed a 7″ record of new songs for the tour, “Getting To The Heart Of It” by Great Lake Swimmers and Picastro’s “Where Are You” with “Thursday.” With the tour on hold (for now), a limited number of the 45 RPM singles are available for mailorder and can be found at https://greatlakeswimmers.com/shop/
Pressed to translucent purple vinyl, they also feature stunning cover images by artists Kristan Klimczak and Adam CK Vollick.

Great Lake Swimmers Live at the Webber Academy Performing Arts Center in Calgary for the Stampede City Sessions (Video)

One of our last shows before the pandemic took hold happened in Calgary, Alberta at the Webber Academy Performing Arts Center, for the Stampede City Sessions. We’ve posted the full concert to our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/Z_v9iNw2IPI
Thanks to the Webber Academy and ATB Financial for having us in and for this beautifully filmed concert.

As always, your support and kind ears are very much appreciated, and we hope to see you when the venues open up again.

European Solo Tour Postponed

We regret to announce that the European solo acoustic tour with Liz Hysen of Picastro has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We hope to reschedule for the near future. Like many of our peers who have also had to cancel tour dates, this has dealt a huge economical and emotional blow to everyone involved. If you are inclined, check out our shop which is carrying our latest LPs, and will soon stock the limited Great Lake Swimmers/Picastro split 7″ tour exclusive that was meant to accompany us on this trip. https://greatlakeswimmers.com/shop/ Thanks for your support and understanding and we hope to see you down the road soon

Great Lake Swimmers Return To Neat – 2nd Show Added June 5!

The Great Lake Swimmers show at Neat Coffee Shop has sold out in a hurry, prompting the addition of a second date on June 5, 2020. Apt613 says, “The Neat Coffee Shop is located about 80km west of Ottawa, overlooking the Madawaska River at the intersection in the tiny village of Burnstown. It might not be on the radar of the ordinary music-lover in Ottawa-Gatineau, but it probably should be.” Read the full article: https://apt613.ca/neat-coffee-shop-review/  and purchase advance tickets to the 2nd show here:  https://neatmusicandcoffee.ca/collections/tickets/products/great-lake-swimmers-june-5-50. See you there!

Great Lake Swimmers Return To Neat!

Tony Dekker – Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Photo – by Joe Lapinski

Great Lake Swimmers are proud to announce their return to the Neat Coffee Shop in Burnstown, Ontario on June 6, 2020. Nestled in the Ottawa Valley, this historic, intimate venue is a favorite among artists and fans. It is a seated event with limited reservations and will be “An Evening With” featuring 2 sets with the full band. Read more about the venue here: https://apt613.ca/neat-coffee-shop-review/ and purchase advance tickets here: https://neatmusicandcoffee.ca/collections/tickets/products/great-lake-swimmers-june-6-50. Hope to see you there!

Great Lake Swimmers / Tony Dekker Solo Acoustic European Tour – April 2020

We’re very excited to announce new European tour dates in April 2020. Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker will be hitting the road in Europe to play songs from the recently released “The Waves, The Wake (Acoustic),” the solo record “Prayer Of The Woods,” new songs, and solo iterations from the Great Lake Swimmers catalogue. Joining him on the tour will be Liz Hysen of Toronto band Picastro. Dekker provides vocal support on the latest Picastro release, “Exit.”

In addition, a Great Lake Swimmers/Picastro split 7” record of exclusive new material will be released leading up to the tour. “Getting To The Heart Of It” and “Where Are You” + “Thursday” will be a limited physical release on translucent purple vinyl and available at the shows.

European Tour 2020:
April 1, 2020: Brighton UK @ The Brunswick https://oneinchbadge.seetickets.com/event/great-lake-swimmers-picastro/the-brunswick/1495917
April 2, 2020: Exeter UK @ Cavern Club www.wegottickets.com/event/497000/
April 3, 2020: London UK @ St Pancras Old Church https://birdonthewire.seetickets.com/go/greatlakeswimmersstpancrasoldchurch
April 5, 2020: Edinburgh UK @ Sneaky Pete’s https://sneakypetes.seetickets.com/event/great-lake-swimmers-solo-/sneaky-pete-s/1495186
April 6, 2020: Newcastle UK @ The Cluny https://www.ticketweb.uk/event/great-lake-swimmers-solo-the-cluny-tickets/10415315
April 8, 2020: Amsterdam NL @ Q Factory https://www.ticketmaster.nl/event/255705?brand=nl_qfactory
April 9, 2020: Utrecht NL @ dB’s https://dbs.stager.nl/web/tickets/410172
April 15, 2020: Graz AU @ Guest Room https://ntry.at/greatlakeswimmersgraz
April 19, 2020: Budapest HU @ Akvarium Klub
More dates TBA
[Have an idea, or want us to play in your town? Send us a note: greatlakeswimmers@gmail.com]

Tony Dekker Photo by Ed Ng

Upcoming Canadian Tour Dates: Thanks to all who made our sold out, home-town Toronto show at the newly re-opened Paradise Theatre an evening to remember. There are still a few tickets left for our remaining full band Canadian tour dates, including shows in London, Calgary, and Edmonton.

Canadian Tour Dates:
February 20: London ON @ Aeolian Hall https://tinyurl.com/r2amdzz
February 27: Whitehorse YT @ Yukon Arts Centre – SOLD OUT
February 28: Calgary AB @ Webber Academy for Stampede City Sessions (Live taping) https://www.showpass.com/greatlakeswimmers/
February 29: Edmonton AB @ Station On Jasper
https://www.showpass.com/great-lake-swimmers/

Tony Dekker at Hillside Inside 2020
Coming up on Feb. 9, 2020, Tony Dekker will be making a special solo appearance as part of Hillside Inside’s “Lit Music Brunch” series in Guelph, Ontario. Co-presented by the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, the morning event will feature a solo acoustic performance following a reading from “To the River: Losing My Brother” by author Don Gillmor. Limited space is available by contacting Mijiidaa in downtown Guelph.
https://www.facebook.com/hillsidefestivalguelph/

Great Lake Swimmers Shop Additions
Recently added to our online shop is Tony Dekker’s 2013 solo LP, “Prayer Of The Woods.” Take another listen to a record that is described as “Folk music that sounds like it was recorded on the periphery between the living room and the surrounding woodland … a humble and traditional folk work, focusing on lyrical analogies and aphorisms” (Norman Records UK).

Vinyl copies of the most recent release, “The Waves, The Wake (Acoustic)” are also available exclusively through this site: https://greatlakeswimmers.com/shop/

Video for “The Real Work”
Lastly, in case you missed it, below is a live solo acoustic video for “The Real Work” filmed near Sleeping Giant Provincial Park this past summer by Adam CK Vollick, with audio engineered by Joe Lapinski. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iip7Wg6T6gU

GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS ANNOUNCE 2020 CANADIAN TOUR DATES, SHARE NEW VIDEO

Great Lake Swimmers will bring in 2020 with a set of full-band Canadian dates which will include Toronto, Whitehorse, Edmonton, and London. Full dates can be found below and tickets go on sale Friday Nov. 29, 2019.

Today, the band also shares a new video for “The Talking Wind” (Acoustic), the third installment in a series shot in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park earlier this year. The video was filmed and edited by Adam CK Vollick with the sound engineered by Joe Lapinksi of The WOW Sound. It is part of the recently released solo acoustic version of The Waves, The Wake.  

WATCH AND SHARE “THE TALKING WIND” (ACOUSTIC) HERE:
https://youtu.be/6wpYUhyIMMk

Lead Swimmer Tony Dekker will also be performing at the Pondercast “The Longest Night” event at The Burdock in Toronto on Dec. 21, alongside Charlotte Cornfield, Elizabeth Shepherd, Michelle Willis, and more. Details and tickets available at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/longest-night-tickets-79799122323  

2020 TOUR DATES  
Jan. 25 – Toronto, ON @ Paradise Theatre  
Feb. 20 – London, ON @ Aeolian Hall  
Feb. 27 – Whitehorse, YT @ Yukon Arts Centre  
Feb. 29 – Edmonton, AB @ Station On Jasper

Released late last year, The Waves, The Wake was recorded in the 145-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church and produced by Chris Stringer (Union Sound). On the LP, Dekker decided to challenge himself by writing new music without any acoustic guitar, which has always been his instrumental mainstay. Each song on the album is brought to life in its own distinctive way, using an acoustic palette that includes woodwinds, harp, congas, marimba and pipe organ.

“Dekker renews Great Lake Swimmers’ sound while still retaining the atmospheric singing and subtle yet intricate guitar playing that are quintessential to the band. It’s a tricky balance, but Dekker and his sprawling team of contributors pull it off with aplomb.” – Exclaim!  

“…a beautiful, hypnotic track wrapped in a rich, comforting warmth…” – CBC  

“’Alone But Not Alone’ is a breezy 60s inspired track that’s more than meets the eye” – NOISEY

GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS ANNOUNCE NEW ACOUSTIC LP OF THE WAVES, THE WAKE

Today, Great Lake Swimmers are announcing the new acoustic version of their latest LP, The Waves, The Wake, out November 8. “There were a handful of demos from the album recording that were very scaled back and stark,” says songwriter Tony Dekker. “I recorded a few more with producer Joe Lapinski – those turned out so well that we decided to do a full album of acoustic versions from The Waves, The Wake. No frills, no weighty production, just voice and guitar. It’s meant to be a companion piece to our latest release.”  

The limited edition LP is available for pre-order exclusively through the band’s website, on limited edition 180-gram vinyl, with original artwork by Niagara artist Geoff Farnsworth. Pre-ordered LPs will ship on the album release day, November 8. https://greatlakeswimmers.com/shop/

The JUNO Award nominated and Polaris Music Prize shortlisted band are also sharing a new video for the acoustic version of “In A Certain Light” from the LP, which was recorded in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.   “The northern shore of Lake Superior has an intense grip on my imagination and I wanted to make a dedicated trip to explore more deeply its mythology and wild landscapes,” says Dekker. “In conjunction with Ontario Creates, we set off on an exploratory trip this past July documenting sounds by way of audio field recordings, visual footage, gathering inspiration for new songs, and recording demos in the locations we found ourselves in. The ultimate destination was Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. This will be the heart of the next Great Lake Swimmers album, which is currently a work in progress.”  

WATCH AND SHARE “IN A CERTAIN LIGHT” https://youtu.be/7qD5mVvPM2E

Beginning September 21, Great Lake Swimmers will continue their summer tour dates across Canada. Full tour dates can be found below and tickets can be purchased at www.greatlakeswimmers.com/shows.  

Released earlier this year, The Waves, The Wake was recorded in the 145-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church and produced by Chris Stringer (Union Sound). On the LP, Dekker decided to challenge himself by writing new music without any acoustic guitar, which has always been his instrumental mainstay. Each song on the album is brought to life in its own distinctive way, using an acoustic palette that includes woodwinds, harp, congas, marimba and pipe organ.  
 
GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS ON TOUR
Sept. 21: Saint John, NB @ Peppers Pub
Sept. 23: Moncton, NB @ Capitol Theatre w/ Jenn Grant
Sept. 24: Fredericton, NB @ The Playhouse, w/ Jenn Grant
Sept. 25: Georgetown, PE @ King’s Playhouse
Sept. 26: Halifax, NS @ The Seahorse
Sept. 27: Annapolis Royal, NS @ King’s Theatre
Sept. 29: Sackville, NB @ Thunder & Lightning w/ Colleen Brown
Oct. 1: Quebec City, QC @ L’Anti w/ Colleen Brown
Oct. 2: Montreal, QC @ Studio Base Bin
Oct. 3: Ottawa, ON @ The 27 Club w/ Colleen Brown
Oct. 5: Grimsby, ON @ Station 1 Coffeehouse
Oct. 6: Napanee, ON @ Doghouse Studios w/ Colleen Brown
Oct. 8: Collingwood, ON @ Crow Sessions with host Jeff Woods (Sold Out)
Oct. 9: Gravenhurst, ON @ Peter’s Players
Oct. 17: Paris, ON @ Dominion Telegraph Hall (Sold Out)
 
THE WAVES, THE WAKE (ACOUSTIC) TRACKLIST
1 The Talking Wind (Acoustic)
2 In A Certain Light (Acoustic)
3 Alone But Not Alone (Acoustic)
4 Falling Apart (Acoustic)
5 Side Effects (Acoustic)
6 The Real Work (Acoustic)
7 Root Systems (Acoustic)
8 Unmaking The Bed (Acoustic)
9 Visions Of A Different World (Acoustic)
10 Holding Nothing Back (Acoustic)
11 Mouth Of Flames (Acoustic)
12 The Open Sea (Acoustic)


Tony Dekker recording at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park – photo by Joe Lapinski

GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS ANNOUNCE MORE SUMMER TOUR DATES

Having just completed a run of dates throughout Canada in June, the JUNO Award nominated and Polaris Music Prize shortlisted Great Lake Swimmers are ready to head back out for another run of Summer tour dates beginning August 29. Tickets for all dates are on sale Friday, July 12, 2019.  

GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS ON TOUR
Aug 29 – Beamsville ON – Redstone Winery
Aug 31 – Niagara Falls ON – Queen Victoria Park
Sep 21 – Saint John NB – Pepper’s Pub
Sep 23 – Moncton NB – Capitol Theatre w/ Jenn Grant
Sep 24 – Fredericton NB – The Playhouse w/ Jenn Grant
Sep 25 – Georgetown PE – Kings Playhouse
Sep 26 – Halifax NS – The Seahorse Tavern
Sep 27 – Annapolis Royal NS – King’s Theatre
Sep 29 – Sackville NB – Thunder & Lightning Ltd
Oct 01 – Quebec City QC – L’Anti Bar and Spectacles
Oct 03 – Ottawa ON – The 27 Club
Oct 05 – Grimsby ON – Station 1 Coffeehouse
Oct 06 – Napanee ON – Doghouse Studios
Oct 08 – Collingwood ON – Crow Bar & Variety
Oct 09 – Gravenhurst ON – Peter’s Players
Oct 17 – Paris ON – Dominion Telegraph Hall  

Ticket information on the SHOWS page.

PRAISE FOR GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS  

“The Waves, The Wake is a beautiful achievement, rife with rich and varied instrumentation and textures, engaging vocals, and bittersweet, poignant lyrics.”  – Big Takeover  

“The shimmer that illuminate such songs as “Mouth of Flames” and “The Open Sea” are contrasted, albeit briefly, in the upbeat tick of “Alone But Not Alone” and the quiet insistence of “Side Effects,” but it’s the acapella “Visions of a Distant World” that best defines the effort overall…melodies that are both elusive and surreal.” – Paste Magazine  

“Dekker renews Great Lake Swimmers’ sound while still retaining the atmospheric singing and subtle yet intricate guitar playing that are quintessential to the band. It’s a tricky balance, but Dekker and his sprawling team of contributors pull it off with aplomb.” – Exclaim!

  “…magnificently beautiful orchestrations, this instrumentation flourishes thanks to the exquisite acoustics of the 145-year-old church in which the band recorded. Every sound resounds to its fullest potential, filling the building with magnificent auras….The Waves, The Wake is a vibrant display of Dekker and company challenging themselves, even after 15 years.” – Riff Magazine  

“…a beautiful, hypnotic track wrapped in a rich, comforting warmth…” – CBC

“’The Talking Wind’ sees a band experimenting with orchestral sounds in a novel ways, and to significant artistic effect.” – Culture Collide  

“’Alone But Not Alone’ is a breezy 60s inspired track that’s more than meets the eye” – NOISEY

GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS ANNOUNCE CANADIAN TOUR DATES, SHARE JASON MOLINA COVER VIDEO

Today, Toronto’s indie darlings Great Lake Swimmers are announcing their return to the road for a string of tour dates throughout Canada beginning in June. Tickets for all dates are on sale at www.greatlakeswimmers.com. Full tour dates can be found below.  

The JUNO Award nominated and Polaris Music Prize shortlisted band are also sharing their cover of the late Jason Molina’s (Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co.) “The Dark Don’t Hide It” recorded live for the series The Influences in Utrecht.

“Several years ago we lost Jason Molina, a brilliant songwriter and a powerful voice in the world of independent music,” says lead singer-songwriter Tony Dekker. “I’ve been thinking about his songs a lot lately, especially while reading the book about his life, Riding With The Ghost by Erin Osmon. We had the honour of opening for Magnolia Electric Co. a few times over the years in places as disparate as Austin, Texas and Brussels, Belgium. Jason’s music has always meant a lot to me, as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co., and also in his solo albums and collaborations, and it is in regular rotation in our tour van. Our cover of ‘The Dark Don’t Hide It’ by Magnolia Electric Co. is an homage to his influence and the body of work he gave us.”  

WATCH AND SHARE “THE DARK DON’T HIDE IT” HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLlM3RpacXM

Great Lake Swimmers also recorded covers of PJ Harvey’s “The Desperate Kingdom Of Love” and the opening track, “The Talking Wind”, from their latest LP, The Waves, The Wake, for The Influences series.  

Out now via Nettwerk, The Waves, The Wake was recorded in the 145-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church and produced by Chris Stringer (Union Sound). On the LP, Dekker decided to challenge himself by writing new music without any acoustic guitar, which has always been his instrumental mainstay. Each song on the album is brought to life in its own distinctive way, using an acoustic palette that includes woodwinds, harp, congas, marimba and pipe organ.  

GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS ON TOUR
Jun   6 – Montreal QC @ Ritz
Jun   7 – Wakefield QC @ The Blacksheep Inn
Jun   8 – Burnstown ON @ Neat Café
Jun 14 – Peterborough ON @ Market Hall
Jun 15 – Kingston ON @ Grad Club
Jun 21 – Ridgeway ON @ The Sanctuary  

Stream/Buy/Download THE WAVES, THE WAKE: http://smarturl.it/TheWavesTheWake  

PRAISE FOR GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS  

“The Waves, The Wake is a beautiful achievement, rife with rich and varied instrumentation and textures, engaging vocals, and bittersweet, poignant lyrics.”  – Big Takeover  

“The shimmer that illuminate such songs as “Mouth of Flames” and “The Open Sea” are contrasted, albeit briefly, in the upbeat tick of “Alone But Not Alone” and the quiet insistence of “Side Effects,” but it’s the acapella “Visions of a Distant World” that best defines the effort overall…melodies that are both elusive and surreal.” – Paste Magazine  

“Dekker renews Great Lake Swimmers’ sound while still retaining the atmospheric singing and subtle yet intricate guitar playing that are quintessential to the band. It’s a tricky balance, but Dekker and his sprawling team of contributors pull it off with aplomb.” – Exclaim!

“…magnificently beautiful orchestrations, this instrumentation flourishes thanks to the exquisite acoustics of the 145-year-old church in which the band recorded. Every sound resounds to its fullest potential, filling the building with magnificent auras….The Waves, The Wake is a vibrant display of Dekker and company challenging themselves, even after 15 years.” – Riff Magazine  

“…a beautiful, hypnotic track wrapped in a rich, comforting warmth…” – CBC   “’The Talking Wind’ sees a band experimenting with orchestral sounds in a novel ways, and to significant artistic effect.” – Culture Collide

“’Alone But Not Alone’ is a breezy 60s inspired track that’s more than meets the eye” – NOISEY