Exclusive preview!

Linda McRae – ‘Dimming of the Day’

Photo by La Portrait Gallery.

Linda McRae has a special place in our hearts here at Roots Music Canada, and not just because she’s such a great person. Notwithstanding her busy schedule of touring, recording and teaching songwriting workshops, she also was one of the very first people to write for us when we relaunched a year and a half ago. She brought us a beautiful series about her work teaching songwriting in prisons, which she does along with her husband, James.

Weekend Read: Teaching Songwriting In Prison, Part 1

Weekend Read: Teaching Songwriting In Prison Part 2

Weekend Read: Teaching Songwriting In Prison, Part 3

So of course, we’re super excited that she has a brand new album coming out tomorrow, and we’re thrilled to get to premiere one of the songs here today.

The album, Going to the Well, is what you might call a “get back to your roots” kind of record. The stripped-to-the-bone arrangements feature Linda on acoustic guitar, banjo and vocals, with little bits of help from Gurf Morlix on guitar and vocals, Bill Kirchen on guitar and voals, Shara Gustafson on backing vocals, and Deni Gauthier on guitar. The bulk of the material is covers of classic artists like David Bowie and Willie P. Bennett, and there are remakes of three songs from Linda’s album Shadow Trails, plus a newly recorded co-write with Kelly Kessler.

It’s a response to fans who said they wanted an album that was more reflective of Linda’s live sound, she explained on her web site – and also a gift to all those who have requested recordings of the covers she often plays live.

The song we’re premiering today, “Dimming of the Day,” is a Richard Thompson song that Linda discovered back in 1979, she recalled.

“I was in the UK with my daughter, Pam, and an old friend, Dave Hill, who was the drummer in one of my first bands, Easy Money!” she explained. “While there, we stopped into the offices of one of our favourite record companies, Stiff Records, and were given comp tickets to see The Expressos, Clive Langer and the Boxes and Any Trouble at the iconic venue The Hope and Anchor in Islington. Clive Gregson fronted the band Any Trouble, and he and the band played their version of ‘Dimming of the Day’ that night. I hadn’t heard the song before and was blown away.”

Linda’s mournful delivery of this song certainly blew me away. I hope you love it as much as I do.

 

See Linda live:

  • Oct. 10-11 – Kay Meek Theatre, West Vancouver, BC
  • Nov. 13 – The Casbah, Hamilton, ON
  • Nov. 14 – The Revival House, Stratford, ON
  • Nov. 15 – Hensall Heritage Hall, Hensall, ON
  • Nov. 17 – Aeolian Hall, London, ON
  • Nov. 18 – Hugh’s Room Live, Toronto, ON
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