Lennie Gallant’s first studio record in nine years is a true gem
I would be lying if I told you I was surprised at just how good Lennie Gallant’s new record is.
Having followed the gifted P.E.I. singer-songwriter since the release of “Breakwater” in 1988, I’ve come to expect that any record released by Rustico’s favourite son is a journey well worth taking. And “Time Travel”, Gallant’s first new studio recording in nine years, certainly checks off that box. In fact it checks off every box on my list.
The strength of the material Gallant penned for “Time Travel”, the quality of producer/engineer Daniel Ledwell’s work in the studio, the calibre of Gallant’s own performance on the record and the contributions of those he brought into the studio to work with him all get top marks here.
If this is not Gallant’s best record to date, it’s damn close to it. “Time Travel”, which features 12 new songs from Gallant and a 13th song he co-wrote with Dave Gunning, was recorded at Ledwell’s Echo Lake studios in Nova Scotia.
Ledwell, a Charlottetown native, was the winner of the ECMA for producer of the year for both 2017 and 2018, and was the perfect choice to produce this record, given his exemplary work with artists like The Once and Fortunate Ones who, like Gallant, are primarily acoustic acts. Ledwell also plays multiple instruments on the record.
The songs on “Time Travel”, which Gallant culled from 40 potential offerings, are a diverse mix.
As always, there are songs which address matters of the heart, the source of inspiration for some of his most memorable work, like my all-time favourite “Pieces of You”.
There are songs about life on the road and ancient legends. In another song he reflects on how we’ve treated the planet.
There’s a song about the ghosts that inhabit old houses in a small town and a wickedly good piece of social commentary about the absolutely bizarre developments south of the border that have transformed America into a perpetual Jerry Springer episode.
There’s also a lovely piece about his late friend and fellow singer-songwriter, Ron Hynes.
I listened to the record from cover to cover three times the first day I had it. Songs like “Sequoia”, with its gorgeous string arrangement, “Selkie”, “What Are You Waiting For”, “When I Heard You Sing” and “Blood And Salt Water” kept pulling me back in.
Gallant truly is a master tunesmith. His lyrics and the melody lines that flow through them are beautifully interwoven and go straight for the heart almost every time.
In addition to his regular band, Gallant was joined in the studio by several well-known musical friends. Included were Jenn Grant, Rose Cousins, Mary Jane Lamond, Chris Corrigan, Cory Tetford, and members of The Atlantic String Machine, which features Gallant’s longtime violinist Sean Kemp. Also on deck for two songs was Juno Award-winning Toronto string band The Fretless.
There isn’t a single bad track on “Time Travel”.
They are all keepers.
This could be your new favourite record.
(Rating 4 out of 5 stars)
– “Time Travel” is Lennie Gallant’s first new studio album in nine years.
– The album’s official release was at the Indian River Festival last night (Aug. 31).
Prior to “Time Travel”, Gallant has recorded 11 albums, nine in English and two in French.
P.E.I.’s Lennie Gallant is having the time of his life.
Fresh off the heels of a 140-date run of his show, Searching for Abegweit, the Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter is playing East Coast concerts this summer.
This past spring Gallant was recognized by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette for his CD, When We Get There, which orbited Earth with her on the International Space Station about 250 times.
He also appeared in A Blessing from the Sea, a movie by Adam Perry starring Bryde MacLean, Lennie MacPherson, Joel Thomas Hynes and Jonathan Torrens.
Now, after nine years he’s releasing his first studio album.
“I can’t believe it’s been so long . . . It’s refreshing and exciting to hear the songs come alive. It also feels very timely,” says Gallant, who released Time Travel last week during a concert at St. Mary’s Church, in Indian River, P.E.I.
Produced by Daniel Ledwell, the 13-track CD explores journeys of the heart, life on the planet and current events.
“There were many occasions in the past where I felt I missed the boat because I didn’t act on a particular event that was happening or a song that I had written, and it was too late. This time I feel in sync with what is happening,” Gallant says.
Whether it’s Sequoia, a passionate ode to the ancient evergreen trees that are burning in California wildfires, Nothing Makes Sense, a satirical look at the world today or What Are You Waiting For, a song about love, he said the themes and the music are very textured.
“This is the best album I’ve ever made in so many ways and having so many wonderful guests lend their talents to it has made the process rather magical and special,” says Gallant, adding guest vocalists included Rose Cousins, Jenn Grant, Mary Jane Lamond and Maria Ryan.
Part of the magic in creating the album were the coincidences that happened along the way.
As songs were being recorded, the subject matter would often appear in a newsfeed or an online post the same day.
For instance, the first single Selkie, is a love song that takes place on a blood moon and refers to an ancient Celtic myth. By chance the decided date for the song’s release coincided with the longest blood moon to occur this century.
“Things were happening like that all the time. So, we felt like we were definitely in the right moment.”
Another time, they were working out sessional musician details and Gallant told his producer that he wished Fretless would show up. He met the British Columbia-based string band four years ago when they played the P.E.I. Mutual Festival of Small Halls.
“I pulled my guitar out. And these guys pulled out their instruments and started playing along. The music sounded so great we all agreed we have to do something (together).”
Gallant looked them up and discovered they were touring in Nova Scotia, so he called them up.
“They had the next day free, so they came over to the studio to play on Selkie and Time Travel. They were perfectly in tune, in sync with the music.”
The final cut will also be remembered a long time, a beautiful and powerful tribute to the late, great Ron Hynes. The Newfoundland songwriter was known for his own tributes, penning memorable ones for Gene MacLellan and Rita MacNeil, and Gallant does those songs, and the man himself justice with Saying Goodbye To Ron. He name-drops Hynes’ best-loved songs, taking us all to St. John’s to share one more memory.
Full of emotion and gentle power, this is Lennie Gallant at his very best. The album comes out Friday, Aug. 31, and that night he’ll launch the album at the Indian River Festival home on P.E.I.
SINGLE: LENNIE GALLANT CHANNELS LEGEND AND THE BLOOD MOON IN ‘SELKIE
Article Via: The East Mag, Written by Maggie McLean
Lennie Gallant has a brand new album set to be released at the end of the month called “Time Travel”. Lennie tells us about his big release concert and shares some of the music with us.
Lennie Gallant has released a new single from his upcoming album Time Travel. The track, “Selkie,” is a fusion of the mythological Celtic legend and the chilling beauty of the Blood Moon, and the result is something magical.
The single features vocals from Mary Jane Lamond and Patricia Richard and strings from The Fretless. It was released to coincide with the Blood Moon last week, the longest we’ve seen in a century. Right from the beginning, the song sets a haunting tone. Both Gallant’s vocals and the strings crooning in the background are muted but build to the chorus like a wave crashing onto the shore. The effect is reminiscent of Prince Edward Island, the province Gallant calls home.
LENNIE GALLANT INTERVIEW ON MAINSTREET PEI
LENNIE GALLANT INTERVIEW ON EAST COAST MUSIC HOUR
On this episode: Lennie Gallant. Eleven albums, a bundle of East Coast Music Awards, multiple Juno nominations, a Canadian Folk Music Award and he is A MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF CANADA. His new album TIME TRAVEL is out August 31st. Lennie joins us for a chat and to sing us a song.