#RFF12 Interviews: Great Lake Swimmers
I admitted it earlier: Great Lake Swimmers was the only main stage set of the entire Regina Folk Festival weekend that I actually missed. I swear, it had nothing to do with the interview I did with bandleader Tony Dekker earlier that Saturday.
See, the biggest thing I have in common with fellow main stager Shad is that I love a good nap. That’s actually what I was doing while Dekker and his bandmates were taking the stage in Victoria Park. I was up late Friday taking in every last main stage performance and then up even later writing about them for this web site. I tried to get up early on Saturday so I could do a little extra prep work for CJTR’s live broadcast from the festival site but I slept in a half an hour and it threw my whole schedule off. I was late having breakfast, late getting my music CDs for the broadcast in to the studio, and late getting to our broadcast site, arriving only 15 minutes before we were set to hit the air.
I was slightly frazzled. I’m blaming that on why I misremembered some of my researched facts about Great Lake Swimmers and why I wasn’t the most prepared for the interview. I probably should’ve let Ben handle this one.
After the interview was over I went back home to hang out with my wife. We ended up grabbing a nap before I had to get back to the park for that night’s main stage performances. Needless to say I slept in once again, like a champion. That resulted in me arriving back at Vic Park just in time for the Great Lake Swimmer’s set to be mostly (entirely) over. Which stinks. But many of my friends and at least one local MLA assured me that their set was great, their performance mesmerizing, and the songs enchanting. Those politicians; silver-tongued devils, aren’t they?
Anyhow, back to the interview. Dekker came up to the tent to for our chat after we had talked to Gavin from The Wooden Sky. He seemed more nervous to be interviewed than I would expect a guy who has been in the music business for a decade would be. Still, he proved to be a willing participant and spoke at length about the process of recording their acclaimed new album. A step outside the norm for Dekker and his band, they actually went into a regular studio to set their new songs to tape. Their recordings have never been lacking; even recording in barns their albums have always sounded great. Dekker suggests that it was more about trying something new and creating a different experience for the group. In Dekker’s mind that nomadic recording experience no doubt injects a unique vitality into each album.
You can listen below to hear more about the myriad locations GLS have recorded in, how their new record fits into the band’s legacy, and the confluence of Ontario acts in the workshops of this year’s festival.