Canadian Musician May/June 2017 - Page 56

Guitar 2017 The artist had a rare few days off and was travelling through one of his old home- towns – Guelph, ON. We met at a cafe and over a cortado, which I admit is now my new favourite coffee drink, we talked about his new record, what success means these days, and of course, guitars. At 54, the musician is in a good place. He feels lucky to have found his path and carved out a devoted following of fans who buy his records and come out to his shows. He plans to keep playing, performing, and recording for as long as that great spirit in the sky allows. What sets his new record apart is the philosophy he adopted – even before he sat down to write this batch of songs. “I de- cided that I wanted to record them with a trio and so when I sat down to write them, I kept that idea in the room with me,” he explains. “Many of the songs were written on my Telecaster – in the past, I’ve always written on my Manzer acoustic – and as they came to me, I tried to hear them fleshed out with bass and drums. “I brought a little amp with me and my pedals,” he adds. “I really tried to im- merse myself into that thing … that sound. It was a really different vibe and I think it made for some very different songs.” The Tele, which a “replica-nut” friend custom made for him, mainly drove the 10 songs, although Fearing did bring his Manzer along to the cabin. He also brought his Harmony, which he bought at Folkway Music in Guelph back in 2001. “I remember walking in and there was this Harmony 875, which I had seen 10 years prior as it was a model Luke Doucet used to play in Veal. I loved the guitar. Visually, it’s really attractive with three pickups, three on and off switches, three tones, and three volume switches. It’s an elaborate guitar from the early 1960s and it has a beautiful, deco look to it.” Like many of the songs on his latest record, “Love like Water” started with a guitar riff, which grew into a chorus, which suggested the phrase itself. After that, it was a matter of Fearing staying calm, being patient, and waiting for the rest of the song to arrive. While Fearing gets a little political on his latest, especially on the song “Blowhard Nation,” which is a commentary on the man who shall not be named occupying the White House down south, he chose a humorous take on this crazy so-called modern world we are all living in these days. “The tone of the record, the playing on the electric guitars, was much more like ‘Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother’ than some deeply intense political statement,” he concludes. “It’s more Merle Haggard than Bruce Cockburn.” David McPherson is the author of the forthcoming book The Legendary Horse- shoe Tavern: A Complete History, coming Sept. 23 rd on Dundurn Press. Ever since attending his first rock concert in 1989 (The Who) and buying his first LP (Freeze Frame by The J. Geils Band), music has become “the elixir of his life.” It’s a joy for him to discover new music, and he loves sharing these dis- coveries with his wife and two children. A regular contributor to Words + Music and Hamilton Magazine, o ٕȁѡ啅̰́Դ)ͥɥѥ́ͼɕAєAȴ)ɵMɥѕȰɥMɥѕȰ) ՕɅ́Uѕ፱ хх) 5ͥ(؃ 8$84TL$ $