Fri, Nov 15, 2013.
Newfoundland-bred, Halifax-based, Don Brownrigg is enjoying lots of praise right now for his new single, Sweet Dream Sleeper, which has been happily holding firm on the Top 20 chart on Radio 2. It's a good example of the pop side of this strong writer and singer, but just one side. He can be quiet, thoughtful and folkie, and then turn around and bring in his experimental stuff too. He likes some quirky twists, so producer Daniel Ledwell (Jenn Grant, Gabrielle Papillon) was a good choice, ready to make the songs sounds different from the crowd.
The softer side is just as important though, and fits Brownrigg's mellow pipes. The haunting I Think I'm Leaving Halifax gets by pretty much on his voice, and a little mood courtesy of Ledwell in behind. The pair's appreciation of whimsy is also here, The Swing Song a piece you could have heard in parlours and bandstands around 1900, complete with clarinet, trombone, marching band cymbals, an oompah beat and Jenn Grant's backing vocals.
None of this is over the top though. There's more subtlety than tricks, and lots of chances to lay back and appreciate the warmth. It's a strong mix of modern, and not-so-modern.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).