Nov. 28, 2015 – Cranberry Hall, Powell River. ($18 advance, $20 at the door).
Oliver Swain is returning to Powell River to launch his new CD Never More Together. He will be pulling out all the stops bringing 2 banjos, bass and guitar, some drone instruments and doing some light looping.
The album was recorded and Mixed by Adrian Dolan at the stunning Risque Disque Studio in Yellow Point, Vancouver Island. And according to Oliver, “I can’t convey the gratitude I feel for the amazing contributions made by my talented friends on this album. Adam Dobres, Emily Braden, Matthew Pease, Danuel Tate, James Whittall, Ben Sollee and of course Adrian. Also of note was the contribution of Mr Ridley Bent who co-wrote No Strange Thing with me in his Winnipeg home last fall. Most of these songs came into this world at the site of what once was the village of Opinaht, Maquinna Park, Clayoquot Sound. The wild geography and lush wilderness of this place combined with the rich first nation history was the perfect environment for my wildest album to date. In the title track Never More Together, I explore my spirituality in this post deity worship era, in Maggie Molly and Raul I tell the story of two estranged lovers and their journey to togetherness. Apple Sucklin Tree in an improvisation on sensuality and Old Dreams is an homage to those who cannot stand in the face of injustice and destruction. These songs are all so dear to me and more so now having been blessed with the incredible colleagues I worked with on this project.”
Oliver has spent the last fifteen plus years honing in his craft. He’s always been a bit of a music geek, collecting old wax cylinder records as a teenager, and being the only kid in school who claimed Robert Johnson as his favorite musician, in a time when grunge rock was on top. Oliver joined The Bills back when they were known as the Bill Hilly Band in Victoria, and played with them until he decided to split town for the musical splendor of Winnipeg, Canada’s musical export city. There he joined Scruj MacDuhk and with them released “The Road To Canso” prior to the band continuing on as The Duhks. Winnipeg also introduced Oliver to fiddler Jeremy Penner, and singer Ruth Moody, and the three went on to form Moody, Penner and Swain, releasing “Southbound” and kicking off a series of pilgrimages south of the Canadian border to the heart of the Appalachians. It was on this journey Oliver solidified his love for traditional southern folk music, and he later moved to Louisiana to perform with the well known Red Stick Ramblers for a years tenure. Swain then decided to bring the music back home to Victoria, where he helped form popular folk group Outlaw Social, releasing two critically acclaimed albums, and touring extensively for several years. Since Outlaw Social’s demise, Oliver has invested the last several years in playing solo shows across Canada, building an enormous fan base, and finally releasing his solo debut, “In A Big Machine”. Oliver still enjoys life in Victoria, keeping busy as a respected session player, playing shows and planning his next jaunt across the country. He’s also recently toured internationally as a sideman with Juno Award winner Toni Childs, and lends his time to being Artistic Director with the Lower Island FolkFest Society, creating the up and coming Victoria music festival FolkWest.
Swain’s career on the stage has seen him tour through much of North America, Australia and Europe, highlighted by appearances at Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg Folk Festivals, Mountain View Music Fest, and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and sharing stages with the likes of Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall, and Marc Savoy, among others. He’s a two time Prairie Music Award recipient (The Bills) and shared a 2008 WCMA nomination for Outstanding Roots Group with Outlaw Social.
We’re glad to welcome Oliver back to the Cranberry Hall.