Donna Mair, managing editor of nightMair Creative and founder of nightMair Creations, took time from her busy schedule to share with us her Pledge Music experiences. Thank you, Donna, we appreciate it! – TUTFN
I’m a big fan of music, so much so that I write about it and support good music, good artists in any way I can. But when the idea of helping pay for your favorite band’s new album came into being last year, I was definitely fence-sitting about whether I thought it was a good idea or not. After some soul searching and a few candid conversations with some of my favorite artists, I jumped in with both feet and pledged to support the Trews new album!Having a look at all the great pledges, it was difficult to decide! If I lived in Toronto instead of Vancouver, for sure a studio visit or CD Release Party would have been top of the list. Drum lesson with Sean was very appealing too but as I’m a wanna-be drummer I don’t own a kit. It was hard to choose but the ones that stood out the most were the Skype chats with the band member of my choice. As a music writer I have a ton of questions for nearly every artist I love listening to, and to be able to ask those from Colin was very appealing. A guitar lesson with John-Angus was also on my list and it was hard to wait for the sessions!
My first session was with Colin and I had a list of questions to ask him – everything from “where did the idea of that song come from?”, to “are the crickets at the beginning of ‘Makin’ Sunshine’ real or sound effcts?” and everything in between. I told Colin what some of my favorite Trews’ songs were and why, and that “Locked Doors” was my ‘go-to’ song for my fitness quest, and that it always reminded me of the movie The Shipping News – and that the Trews should have had “Locked Doors” in that movie sound track! Colin suggested they should be in the Kokanee beer commercial sound track, and we had a few good laughs about that. We talked about fitness and beer, and we reminisced about last year’s summer music fest where I got to hear “Lord, Keep Me in Mind” live for the first time! And although I tried to twist his arm about some of the new songs, he just smiled sweetly and told me I’d have to wait like everyone else. 😉
It’s truly amazing how much one can talk about in 20 minutes when one puts one’s mind to it! And before I knew it time was up and Colin was saying his goodbyes and signing off to head down to the studio…which was fine by me – all the better to have new Trews sooner!
A week later, and my much-anticipated guitar lesson with John-Angus was a reality. You would think that I’d be more nervous talking one-on-one with Colin but noooo…I was much more nervous about the lesson. It took a few moments to break the ice, and once we sorted out whether to use my well-used classical guitar (which I’ve had since Grade 8) or my electric (which was a hand-me-down gifted to me by my brother), we got right into it. The first song I wanted to learn was “Locked Doors” of course…and John Angus had to teach me how to tune down one of the strings, and how to put my fingers into the impossible B Flat chord…after a few tries I gave up, wanting to move on to the next song before I used up too much time. “Traveling Kind” was next on my list and was almost as easy as I had hoped – almost! Writing down the chords I was on to the next song, “Stay With Me” – the chords are super easy! I wanted to learn the finger picking part at the intro, and I think I surprised John Angus because suddenly I was falling behind and laughing and asking him to slow it down a notch…I asked about a few more songs and there was the dreaded B Flat chord again so we skipped it and I was duly impressed with John Angus’ ability to remember each song I requested no matter how new or old, no matter if it was a song they sing live often, or one of the oldies that slips through the live show cracks…and I was impressed with his attempt to hit the high notes usually reserved for Colin on stage. 🙂 All in all it was an absolutely enjoyable experience and it spurred me to keep the dust off my guitar this time and keep at it. I want to be able to play “Stay” and “Traveling Kind” before I see the boys live again this summer!
As for pledging…I’m doing it again. A Skype with Jack soon enough and a pledge to Skype with Sean after that. These are experiences that have enriched my life, given me a better understanding of my favorite band, and most important, given me a concrete way to support them so that they can continue to make the music that moves me.