DAY 10 “Thoughts On The Albums” Side Projects

THE DEL FI’S ‘CROWD PLEASER’ (2015) After touring and promoting my debut ‘Early Riser’ on Cowboy Junkies label I needed a break from the pressure of it. As much as I liked to not admit it, there are expectations and that builds the stress on your shoulders. I decided on pressure-less side projects in between my regular albums and shows.

The Del Fi’s started off as “Hank Holly & The Del Fi’s” where we’d play some shows between tours, drink too much and play rock ‘n’ roll and old country favourites. Then I wondered, what if they were a real band with real songs. I started writing these more lyrically outrageous songs in the backseat while we were on an early summer Eastern Canadian tour. When I got back I booked a day at Aaron Comeau’s studio, The Trailer and started to invite different musicians. I didn’t let most of them hear the songs beforehand, didn’t tell them we were making a record (’cause we weren’t if the results were just a fun day in the studio), told them to stay as little or as long as they wanted and I’d make sure they didn’t stay thirsty. We had about 13 musicians come and go during the session and it’s one of the best days I’ve ever had.

This spontaneous and unguarded music brought something paranormal to “Rockin’ In The Funeral Home 1 & 2”, “The Junk Today”, “Baby Coming Up The River” and the rest of the album. We made an album in one day, live in the studio, it was what I’d call a magical and mystical experience. I could write a book on it, so much more to say and tell you.

Inspired by records made by writer Jack Kerouac, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and recite my poetry over jazz music. I got a group of musicians together, with some of them composing the music. I just gave direction that it needed to allow for my words to be one of the instruments and that some of my favourite jazz artist like Thelonious Monk. It was supposed to be released along with a poetry book, which hasn’t come out..yet.

I describe the 2nd Del Fi’s album as a lot darker. The 1st was like a bender and now we’re at the end of the binge. Also recorded live at The Trailer in one day, I think it’s a stronger collection of songs but now we’re aware of what The Del Fi’s are and supposed to mean. It wasn’t going to have the magic and in the moment sound of ‘Crowd Pleaser’ but it’s still mighty fine and I thank everyone who was involved.

All CDs are currently out of print but you can grab em digitally here: