Musical friends form a special bond. Sometimes it’s a momentary thing, when a jam session is really cooking. Sometimes after years of playing together it becomes like a family bond, complete with all the ups and downs of siblings. When the music flows the harmony embraces more than the sound.
All through my life I shared a lot of euphoric moments and learned a lot from my musical friends. This recording wouldn’t have been possible without their help and the contribution of their talents.
The Day We Made Homemade Music
…it was Saturday, December 29, 2018 in our basement family room. Sometime mid-afternoon we ran through take 3 and after that there was nothing left to do but party…
Produced and engineered by Michael O'Connell
MICHAEL O’CONNELL is the creative force and singer-songwriter behind Culture Reject, a band that evolved from Black Cabbage, with whom he toured for years since their formation at the University of Guelph. Culture Reject records for a European label and returns there each year to tour to a growing and loyal fan base. Just before this session for Homemade Music, Michael had just finished up weeks of mixing and mastering of “Breaking With The World”, an extraordinarily beautiful album, and a few weeks later he and Karri were off on their European tour.
People Are Talking
How fun was that!!??
Oh I love it! You know already that is one of my favourite songs of yours
Bill!!!! I can’t tell you how excited I am that you’ve sent me this! I absolutely love this song. I’d be honoured to play this on the radio!
For fans of original songwriting. My friend Bill composes songs that sound as if you’ve known them forever. Think Leiber and Stoller, think Brill Building.
I love all the different instruments and vocals. It’s got a really warm feeling to it.
“This touched my soul just right. It’s very indie-coming-of-age-Sundance-TIFF-kind-of-movie music….. But it’s not. It’s homemade music. This is so good!!!!!!!!”
Mike Belec – harmonica and backing vocals
Mike is my blues buddy and a ski instructor at Blue Mountain Resort. Once a week we get together to explore the essentials of blues, trying to find our mojo. Our nom de blues is Too Late Smart.
Tom Thwaits – accordion and harmony vocals
Tom is an educator and musician, playing keyboard for Bored of Education, a favourite local party band comprised mostly of teachers. He is also famous locally as the creator and host of Bring Your Own Vinyl night at the local pub, which has become an adventure in musical explorations for a regular group of vinyl lovers expanding their horizons.
Karri North – harmony vocals
Karri North is a professional photographer. She is also keyboard player and backup vocalist for Culture Reject. She and Michael moved recently to Meaford adding their distinctive talents to the local music scene, including co-hosting the Home and Home Festival, two days of live original music in Meaford backyards.
Allan Johnson – acoustic guitar and backing vocals
Allan relocated to Meaford after retiring from a career in the Bahamas as a professional entertainer. He writes and records his own material in his home studio, playing all the parts, and he still sells his CDs in the islands. He’s famous locally for his song “Meet Me In Meaford”, which he’s urged to perform at every community function.
Corrine McGowan – harmony vocals
Corrine is Tom’s partner and mother of five-year-old Nora and two-year-old Alex who sat with her to join in on the chorus. Like Tom, she is an educator with musical talents.
Bill Dickson – harmony vocals
Bill is a multi-talented artist who is retired from a career as a graphic designer and children’s author to focus on his songwriting and his stand-up comedy. Among other things he is the creator of the Tetley Tea guys, and he has released a CD of his own wry songs called “Isn’t Life Grand?”
David Hawkins – lead acoustic guitar and backing vocals
Dave is a songwriter who recently sold his music store to devote himself to his songwriting. He is one of the guiding lights of the Georgian Shores Songwriters’ Circle, a bi-weekly gathering of songwriters who get empathetic but incisive feedback from peers they respect. He took the time to assign spaces to each player in the arrangement so that each could have a moment to shine. He and Allan played duelling guitar leads.
Diana Young – harmony vocals
Diana is the creator and host of The Geogian Bay Story Slam, a series of live shows of story-telling that she has presented at venues throughout the area with the 2018 season culminating in a “Grand Slam” in the Opera House of Meaford Hall. Story tellers vied for the grand prize, which was taken home by Bill Dickson. (Diana also took many of the photos on this page)
Darcy Louise – ukulele and harmony vocals
Darcy is my granddaughter. She plays piano, violin and guitar as well as ukulele but has her sights set on a career in medicine. She was visiting us on a school break so we made sure to schedule the recording party at a time she could take part.
Judy – hostess
Judy McEnaney Monahan is my best friend and everything else that matters. She has made everything possible that has happened in my life. When I dream big she nods and waits to see what happens, then uprights me when I teeter and sway. She’s also a pretty good roadie when necessary.