Sarah Harmer's back porch covers collaboration with Jason Euringer from 1999, released on vinyl for the first time.
I drew my Dad’s name for a Christmas present (we have a big family and decided to pare down the gifts that year.) He has always loved music and and I thought I’d record some of his favourite songs for him. That summer my bandmate Luther was in the middle of recording an album at my house with our friend and engineer Robin Aube from Hamilton. When Luther took two days off from the session I squeezed in with my friend Jay Euringer who I’d been singing random favourites with for years. Jay and I made a list of songs that we knew my Dad liked and a couple newer ones that we figured he would like, and Robin, Jay and I set about to record them.
I wasn’t too concerned about arrangements or lyrics, or accuracy, to be honest. The recording was for my Dad and I wasn’t taking it too seriously. Some of these songs I knew from songbooks that had been on our piano growing up, but I was not an aficionado and we relied on our memories for reference. We took a pretty casual crack at them, but as we were getting underway, I felt like I had to get into some kind of character to belt out these classic tunes. I found an old nightgown and smoking jacket and walked around the house like a singer who could rise to the occasion. Jay played bass and guitar, I played some guitar and we both sang. We set up on the screened-in porch with an extra microphone in the grass. At times I can hear my church lady soprano rise up from singing every Sunday in the United church choir. Crickets, rain and the countryside also come through. Spencer Evans came out to the house to liven up the joint with piano and clarinet and bounce his joyous sounds off the tin ceilings in the living room. I was holding the lyrics to Shine On Harvest Moon as I clapped my hands, and it comes through as a little extra percussion.
I practiced the piano for weeks to be able to play the final song O My Beloved Father. A few months later my Dad shed a few tears as he stood next to the Christmas tree and read out the song titles on the back of the homemade CD. He and my mom danced around the kitchen to it that night and, on occasion, still do. - SH
1. Blue Moon Of Kentucky
2. Tennessee Waltz
3. Black Coffee
4. Stormy Weather
5. Oh Bury Me Not
6. Just A Close Walk With Thee
7. Shine On Harvest Moon
8. Trouble in The Fields
9. Your Cheatin Heart
11. Sentimental Journey
12. O, My Beloved Father
LP to be released December 6, 2019
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