Jenn Grant tours The Beautiful Wild
With a newly released album out – The Beautiful Wild – Jenn Grant is coming to Canmore.
Playing a double bill with Cuff The Duke, the show takes place on Sunday (Oct. 14) at Communitea Café.
Released in September, the album is Grant’s fourth full-length release since 2007.
“All the songs came really easily to me in a short burst of time,” she said. “It felt like a very inspired experience – I basically threw away the songs I had been working on and started writing a song a day in the place we were recording.”
The album is connected to the wilderness in a lot of different kinds of ways, she said.
“I was in this beautiful, old country house, with a fire gurgling and snow falling; it was New Year’s Eve when I started writing,” said Grant. “There’s something about nature that makes me feel more open and connect to a creative energy.
“There’s also the idea of the beautiful wild being a place in your heart, looking back at moments and trying to appreciate them in the present. I’m very fortunate, living in Canada, to be able to pursue my passion, fortunate in my family, and all kinds of different ideas about love and trying to connect to that energy.”
There are many moments within the album she feels closely connected to, said Grant.
“I feel really close to “The Fighter” song and it encapsulates that idea for me,” she said. “The beautiful wild is a lyric in that song, so it’s a title track. That song came right out of me, just kind of happened in a few minutes.
“There are favourite moments throughout the record, a lot of surprise moments. Like the Saddle River String Band from P.E.I.; they sing backing vocals and I found it really amazing to have them on the record. I saw them play at a friend’s wedding and they were just so loud and beautiful, I needed them to be on it.”
Many other artists, including several who have played Communitea – such as Old Man Luedecke and Rose Cousins – make appearances on the album.
“Rose Cousins has always been my favourite person to sing with, she has such a beautiful and intuitive voice, and singing with her feels like she’s giving you a big hug,” she said. “I had the whole winter to reflect the songs and get to know them.
“Instead of sitting down with a guitar and writing chords, which I always have done, I took a string and tuned it down to one point until I found a sweet spot, and a song would come from there and I’d build the instruments around it afterward.”
For the first part of this tour, which began in Madison, Wisconsin in late September, Grant has been opening for Kathleen Edwards.
“I’m opening for Kathleen, and I’m also going to sing in her band,” she said. “Her record Voyageur was a huge album for me this year. I loved that record. It feels very fitting to tour with her, because I was really inspired by her record as I was writing mine.”
For the Alberta, B.C. and Ontario shows, Grant is playing on equal footing with Cuff The Duke.
“Cuff The Duke, I think, are really cool, talented, nice guys and I’d like to get to know them better. I feel excited that my fall is completely blocked with great shows with great artists. I feel really happy about that.”
Cuff The Duke’s newest album, Union, was released Oct. 2., making this a CD release tour for both acts.
“I’ll have my whole band with me,” said Grant. “Mike Belyen is my drummer, Tavo Diez de Bonilla is my bass player and Danny Ledwell.”
Having played Communitea several times before, Grant is anxious to return.
“I love Canmore. My cupboard is full of tea from the Communitea, and last time I was there I got some for Rose Cousins as well,” she said. “I feel like Canmore is a healing place, the audiences are always really sweet and attentive, and it’s a lovely venue. And the mountains, I feel like there’s a snow globe around my heart.”
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