By Stevie Connor
Wild Winds Of Dooga
You know when you meet someone for the first time and there is an instant connection ?
On a beautiful afternoon in the St Kilda arts & entertainment district of Melbourne on my first visit to the land down under I met up with Glenn Skuthorpe and his manager Katie Symes, we sat down and talked about our shared passions of music, storytelling and culture. It was a memorable afternoon, I was honoured that Glenn and Katie had taken time out of their very busy touring schedule to stop in Melbourne on their way to Adelaide.
I had been a huge fan of Glenn's music since hearing his fifth album release ' See My World ', it was one of those albums that just grabs you, it said everything about what we played on the station, it had hints of rock, americana ( insert Australiana ), blues, roots and so much more, the storytelling through song was very compelling, it was recorded with a full band which included some amazing artists , Clare O'Meara, Kerri Simpson and Canadian Matt Patershuk amongst others, a brilliant introduction to Glenn and his music. It was mixed and mastered at Thirty Mills Studio by Colin Wynne
After the meeting it was clear we had made an instant bond and the friendship would be a lifelong one. I knew that Glenn had visited Canada and toured here before and there were plans on the go to have him visit for a tour soon, we kept in touch and when those plans came to fruition Glenn announced his Canadian Tour and release of his sixth independent self funded album ‘Wild Winds of Dooga’ at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.
Photograph by Macri Photography, Edmonton
Down a dusty road and along a beaten track in an old bush cabin set amid a cluster of windswept river red gums and twisted metal and memorabilia, Nhunggabarra, Kooma, Muruwari man and international touring singer-songwriter Glenn Skuthorpe settled in to record his sixth album during the Australian winter.
The self-produced album features his considerable talents as a compelling lyricist and multi-instrumentalist.
The first single release ‘ More than a Half Light ’ has Glenn intimately tracking vocals, banjo, acoustic and electric guitars.
‘ Wild Winds of Dooga ’ follows quickly on the heals of ‘ See My World ’ - a highly acclaimed self-produced studio band album nominated for best international album at the Canadian Indigenous Music Awards in 2017 and evocative of the wide-open road with its roots-rock sound, demanding the listener lean in closer, get on their feet and come along for the ride.
Glenn’s prolific songwriting talents continues to impress on this album as does the depth and timbre of his vocal qualities and the honing of his unique sound – licks, picks and riffs on acoustic and lead guitars, mandolin and harmonica that wrap lyrically around his vocals like other voices calling out across the windswept plains and into the night sky. The title track ‘Wild Winds of Dooga’ an ode to his home town of Goodooga and the Country he carries with him wherever he roams:
It's another stunning release.
Glenn and his manager arrived in British Columbia on July 25th and embarked on an epic tour across BC, Alberta and Manitoba, on his way he played Edmonton where he performed the main stage and also took part in very special songwriting sessions, including the Ancestor Sessions with legendary First Nation artist Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Back on the road after the festival Glenn headed East playing to a full house at ' Live At The StuDome ' in Winnipeg, before one of the next major events in Moose Factory as part of a project with the Moose Cree First Nation, Glenn was one of the collaborating songwriters / mentors taking part in the ' Homeland ' project which also included Katie Symes, Jimmy Rankin, Vern Cheechoo, Thelma Cheechoo and Bill Bell.
As part of the project a song was written and recorded with the young people of the Moose Cree Nation, it was then taken to Toronto where Bill Bell and Glenn added some tracking before mixing it all down, I have listened to the single and it blew me away, I can't wait to share it with you when it's released.
the Homelands project is a co production by Katie Symes ( Australia ) and Thelma Cheechoo ( Moose Cree First Nation )
Photograph by Katie Symes - Bill Bell's studio - Toronto
TORONTO ALBUM LAUNCH
Glenn is currently in Toronto where he will be making an appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival ( TIFF ) the weekend of September 7th where a number of his original songs will feature in the movie premiere of ' Emu Runner '.
The same weekend, Saturday September 8th, he launches the new album at The Burdock which is at 1184 Bloor Street West, M6H 1H2, It's a fabulous venue to release in and their are some very special guests who will be making an appearance.
Singer / songwriter Shawna Caspi will be opening the show, Shawna is no stranger to Blues & Roots Radio listeners, she is an extremely talented musician, artist and road warrior who travels extensively across Canada and the USA, she is a solo singer-songwriter based in Toronto, with a powerful voice and serious guitar chops. With a commanding stage presence and an inviting charm, she doesn’t need a band to deliver an engaging and energetic show. She has all the sound she needs under her fingertips, with a remarkable fingerstyle guitar technique. Shawna’s playful wit and sense of a seasoned storyteller makes each performance intimate and captivating, no matter the size of the room. She has played in venues from cafes to soft-seat theatres, from living rooms to festival stages.
Bill Bell will also be performing, he is a producer, mixer and musician and is in great demand having worked with many of Canada's top performers including Jason Mraz and Tom Cochrane.
Tickets are available here burdockto.com
It's going to be one fabulous night, you will be able to experience the unique sound of Glenn Skuthorpe and talk with this fabulous artist at the show. I hope you get the chance to make it out.
You can find out more about Glenn and his music here glennskuthorpe.com
Glenn Skuthorpe & Katie Symes with Richard Flohil, Anne Connor, Mark Murphy and Stevie Connor - Port Credit, Ontario
We wish him well for the remainder of his stay in Canada and safe travels back to Australia where he will be performing at shows in support of the album launch there.
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Have a great week ahead