Embarking on their 18th year as a band, platinum-selling Canadian folk rockers Great Big Sea voyage a little further from their signature Newfoundland inspired sound to land Safe Upon The Shore with their tenth album due July 13th, distributed through Red Eye.
Recorded in “fits and starts” over a six month period, the album was produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and Great Big Sea in New Orleans, L.A., St. John’s, NL and anywhere that inspiration struck, including tour buses and various dressing rooms along their tour.
“A lot of this was recorded straight onto Alan’s laptop, as soon as we had the ideas, ” explains Sean McCann, singer and bodhran player. “As for the rest, for a long time we wanted to record somewhere with a vibe, somewhere with an atmosphere that might seep into the songs themselves. There is nowhere on the continent, really, that has more of a vibe than New Orleans.”
And the vibe is evident with the New Orleans brass on “Don’t Wanna Go Home,” the Bayou-inspired hootenanny “Hit The Ground And Run,” the Southern folk/rock harmonies of “Good People” and delicate Creole/folk-infused lullaby “Follow Me Back” mix with the more traditional Newfoundland fare on ‘Yankee Sailor” and “Road To Ruin.”
Aside from Great Big Sea co-founders and songwriter Alan Doyle, Bob Hallett and Sean McCann, Safe Upon The Shore also includes co-writes and various acclaimed artists including Russell Crowe and Canadian singer-songwriters Randy Bachman, Jeremy Fisher and Joel Plaskett.
“At this stage, we sometimes all kind of know each others ideas too well,” explains multi-instrumentalist and singer Bob Hallett. “It’s too easy to do the obvious. Writing with a big group of people pushed everything into different directions. Of the songs we started there, we ended up using a bunch of them on the album.”
“Some of these songs took a long time to grow up, some of them came to us ready to head out into the world,” added McCann.
Renowned for their live show, Great Big Sea make “an explosively joyful noise” that’s “bright and melodic, passionate and heartfelt” (-Washington Post). The group will perform select cities this summer before embarking on their North American tour this fall. Dates TBA on June 15th.