BlogBack 40 Festival musician finds inspiration in lakes and pines
Posted by Patrick Simoens, musician | Friday May 31, 2013
Derek Helps and Patrick Simoens of Lakes and Pines to perform at Back 40 Festival in Morden (Helps and Simoens)
I stopped writing for nearly a decade until I moved back to Morden where my writer's block ended.
—Patrick Simoens, musician
The Back 40 Festival in Morden marks the launch of festival season in Manitoba. The festival is held the first Sunday in June in the Morden Park Bowl.
Some of this year's headliners include The Brothers Landreth, Emma Cloney, Jenny Berkel, Red Moon Road, JP LePage Band and Jake Chenier for the younger set. Also on the bill is local Morden duo Lakes and Pines.
SCENE quizzed Patrick Simoens about the band's connection to the great outdoors:
I was born and raised in Morden, Manitoba. Although they call it a city now I still see it as a small town. Growing up in a small town in the '80s and '90s afforded me a lot of leisure time outdoors. I spent most of my free time exploring the Dead Horse creek that runs through town. As a child I listened to The Beatles and then mostly Nirvana in my teen years.
That's when I began playing guitar and writing songs. I played coffeehouses and open mics when I could. After high school I moved to Winnipeg and had a musical drought. I stopped writing for nearly a decade until I moved back to Morden where my writer's block ended.
Suddenly I found myself with enough songs to consider making an album. I would say that my songwriting is mostly inspired by nature and by the fellowship Manitobans feel as we brave our long winters. I also write about my brother who committed suicide when I was nine, an event that changed my world completely.
When trying to decide what name would best represent my songs I found a pen that I think I stole from my Dad's nightstand as a child. It was an old souvenir pen of Manitoba. On one side it had this neat little man in a canoe that would paddle across the lake when you turned it upside down, and on the other side it said "Manitoba Canada: The Land of Lakes and Pines". Perfect, I thought!
In November of 2012 I was asked to play a couple of shows at a local coffee shop. I asked my friend Derek Helps to play the shows with me. Derek's electric guitar added that extra layer that was needed and he helped make the canvas larger.
We were received well at both shows and immediately started working on demos. Since then, along with creating soundscapes, Derek has played banjo, piano, and is learning the pedal steel.
The songs keep evolving the more we play them and we have our sights set on recording an album in some way or another over the next year.
Morden's Back 40 Festival takes place in the Morden Park Bowl Sunday, June 2, noon to dusk. Lakes and Pines plays at 6:00 and will be joined by Karl Redding on bass and Paul Bergman on drums.