Six singer-songwriters share stage
The Engadine Sessions Come to the Mountain.
Six women – Kat Danser, Suzie Vinnick, Cori Brewster, Cara Luft, Karla Anderson and Chloe Albert – came together this spring at Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis to make music.
Calling themselves the Engadine Sessions, the result of their efforts was the recording of an album of 14 songs, entitled Come to the Mountain.
They will come together for a performance at The Banff Centre on Thursday (Oct. 25), in The Club at 8 p.m.
Albert spoke with the Outlook about the making of the album.
“At one point or another, we’ve all played there, so they decided to bring us together to make an album,” said the Edmonton resident. “They closed down the lodge, set up a recording studio and we hung out for about six days to write together, collaborate and then record.
“For the most part, we hadn’t really played together before. We knew who each other were – four of the six are from Alberta – so being in the folk music scene, we definitely knew of each other.”
The end result was magical, she said.
“It was really amazing and we didn’t know what to expect, but what ended up happening was beautiful collaborations and great live-off-the-floor magic was recorded,” said Albert. “It was like being in camp with a bunch of girlfriends – it was pretty special.
“And while we’re all under the folk umbrella, we definitely have our own style, and so the record is diverse in that way.”
Located on the Smith Dorrien Road in the Spray Valley, the nine-room lodge has been in operation for 24 years, said innkeeper Chris Williams.
“We’ve been doing a music series up here for about five years,” said Williams. “Then in January 2011 we thought about making a recording, and we were able to convince the owner, Andrew Kyle, that this could be a neat next step for the lodge; doing something completely out of the box.
“We wanted it to be all artists who had played at the lodge and got what we have been doing up here, and that’s where it got its founding from.”
The process of recording an album was an entirely new project for Williams, he said.
“I’ve never been involved in the recording process, so it was different for everyone as to just what a community event it became,” he explained. “Throughout the whole week, almost everyone was in the recording room, all at the same time, and it created a good family atmosphere and allowed for a different vibe and its own magic itself.
“Myself and my wife (Shari-Lynn), along with our chef and our one lodge staff, all four of us were integrally involved the whole week, and in fact we sang backing vocals on some of the songs, which made for a lot of fun.”
Albert is ecstatic with the way it all came together.
“When I showed up to the lodge, some people had songs prepared already whereas I had nothing prepared and panicked, and it was a couple days I spent locked in my room trying to craft a couple of songs for this album,” she said. “We were asked to write positive message songs – they wanted a good vibe – and so I was really happy with what turned out.”
As all six are strong singer-songwriters in their own right, finding roles for everyone to play together was a challenge, said Albert, but it all seemed to work out.
“I played percussion on a lot of tracks on the album, and Susie Vinnick played bass a lot, so it wasn’t just acoustic guitar and voice for the whole record,” she said. “It’s really a beautiful spot, so it’s hard not to love. One of my songs – “All I’ve Got” – was very much inspired by the environment.”
All the participants are looking forward to the Banff show.
“We’re all really looking forward to The Banff Centre,” said Albert. “It’ll be close to where it all came together in the mountains, so it’ll be neat that way.
“It’s hard to get everyone together, so we’re glad we were able to come together for this week to promote the record.”
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