Great Lake Swimmers lead singer and songwriter Tony Dekker will release a solo album called Prayer Of The Woods on October 8, 2013. The album, which Dekker refers to as a “musical interlude” between Great Lake Swimmers albums, is reminiscent of early GLS recordings in its quiet and intimate approach, and presents a stark portrait of a Canadian troubadour. Dekker has also announced a run of tour dates in conjunction with his solo effort, starting in Thunder Bay, Ontario on September 28 at Finlandia Hall.
Prayer Of The Woods was chronicled in two parts during June 2013 at the historic St. Brendan’s Church in Rockport, Ontario. It was recorded and mixed by Justin Nace, with additional overdubs and tracking at the House Of Miracles in July. All of the instruments and vocals were played and sung by Tony Dekker, including guitars, accordion, mandolin, piano, pump organ, Hammond B3, mellotron, harmonica, autoharp, and percussion. It was mastered at the new House Of Miracles by Andy Magoffin, now located in Cambridge, Ontario.
Upon listening to Prayer Of The Woods, listeners will find songs of geographical reference (“Somewhere Near Thunder Bay”), contemplations of mortality (“Final Song”), finding spirituality in the natural world (“Prayer Of The Woods”), and ongoing existential crisis (“Hearing Voices”). There are also new interpretations of a couple of classics: “Land Of The Glass Pinecones” and “Carefree Highway.” The title track is based on an anonymous poem of Portuguese origin that has become known in forest reserves throughout North America.
As the principle songwriter for Great Lake Swimmers, Tony Dekker was nominated for two Juno Awards, has won two Canadian Independent Music Awards for the albums Lost Channels (2009) and Self-titled (2003), was short-listed for the Polaris Prize (Lost Channels) and long-listed for New Wild Everywhere. Great Lake Swimmers was hand picked to open concerts by Robert Plant, Jeff Tweedy and Feist among others, and has been called “a national treasure” by the CBC. Notable television and film soundtracks include the series Weeds and American Idol (“Your Rocky Spine”), as well as original soundtracks composed for the 2008 documentary Song Sung Blue and the e-Book One In A Thousand.
Great Lake Swimmers are preparing to release a new studio album in 2014.
Prayer Of The Woods Track Listing: