Song Sparrow Hall was alive with the sounds of blues, folk and jazz as musicians gathered to record songs for the upcoming Wednesday on the Wharf album, The Wharf Sessions.
Led by the creative team at the Salmon Arm Arts Centre and Song Sparrow Hall, The Wharf Sessions is a digital offering for the community in place of Wednesday concerts at Marine Peace Park. Featuring nine local bands, the Sullivan student choir and a Secwépemc storyteller, The Wharf Sessions will be available for download and streaming on the arts centre website in mid-June.
“We’re so excited to be putting this album together,” said Astrid Varnes, WOW program manager. “WOW is such a huge part of summer in the Shuswap, and although we won’t be able to gather on Wednesday nights, the album is going to give the community a live music soundtrack to feast on.”
Like WOW, the album will feature an array of musical styles, and both new and familiar faces.
“We’re thrilled to be spotlighting some artists that haven’t played the gazebo stage before, everything from a storyteller, to duos, to a sextet,” Varnes continued. “The musicians are making some incredible recordings, including songs that reflect their experience over the past year.”
She gave the example of the toe-tapping Isolation Blues, written by the Wharf Sessions People’s Choice winners, The Blind Bay Blues Band.
Craig Newnes, producer and engineer at Song Sparrow Hall, commented on how different the recording process has been.
“Usually for an album, bands go into a studio and each musician records their own part, over several hours or days, and then everything gets mixed together afterwards. Here, we’re capturing the live sound by having the musicians all play at the same time, just as they would at the gazebo.”
Producer Clea Roddick was especially moved after the SAS Choir recorded its rendition of Alistair McGillivray’s, Away From the Roll of the Sea.
“After a year of being away from live music, and to be in the same room with them, it really feels like these artists are bestowing us with a gift,” she said.
The full lineup for The Wharf Sessions includes Kenthen Thomas, Green Room, Jimmy Two Shoes & the Lost Soles, The Blind Bay Blues Band, the Jake McIntyre-Paul Sextet, Mozi Bones, the SAS Choir, the Chorogues, Tara Willard, Blu and Kelly Hopkins and Chicken-Like Birds. Photos, videos and interviews with the bands will be featured weekly throughout the summer at salmonarmartscentre.ca/wow and on Instagram at @salmonarmartscentre.
– Submitted by Salmon Arm Arts Centre