© GUARDIAN PHOTO BY SALLY COLE
Meaghan Blanchard is excited about launching her new CD, She’s Going to Fly, on Sept. 20 at the Mack in Charlottetown at 8 p.m. The album was produced by American record producer John Keane. The show will be opened by Dan Walsh, a banjo picking songwriter from the United Kingdom. Tickets are available at the Confederation Centre Box Office, 566-1267.
When Meaghan Blanchard went to the Memphis Folk Alliance conference two years ago she had no expectations.
“It was a birthday trip. I had raised some money from a crowd source fundraising site and I got to go down with my manager.
“I just wanted to be around music people, people who were doing what I wanted to do,” says the four-time P.E.I. Music award winner.
She was also looking for someone to produce her next CD.
That weekend, a chance meeting with John Keane, an American record producer, known for his work with Nanci Griffith, REM, The Indigo Girls and Widespread Panic, led to a massive opportunity for her.
“I’ve been reading about windows of opportunity and this was definitely one of them so I went with my gut feeling and just did it,” says Blanchard.
So, when she returned home to P.E.I. she called and asked him to produce her new CD. He agreed. And over the spring of 2012, they made plans to record it at his studio in Athens, Ga.
Blanchard says it was trust at first sight.
“It was a perfect match. He was such a sweet, quiet, gentle guy. He liked talking about his family and the music he liked. I thought, ‘what a breath of fresh air,” says Blanchard, who finished recording the album with him last fall.
Now, after months of anticipation, their collaboration, She’s Going to Fly, is being released.
“We kind of held onto it, purposely, until we were ready to release it, over the summer of 2013,” says Blanchard, adding the CD launch will take place Sept. 20 at the Mack in Charlottetown at 8 p.m.
The CD contains 12 songs. Except for two, Gamble or Save and All I’ve Lost, penned by Athens, Ga. songwriter Seth Livengood, all have been written by Blanchard.
The first single, When You Used to Call My Name, was released in the spring. It’s a song about losing love.
“When You Used to Call My Name is inspired by the idea of how quickly things can change when you’re in a relationship. Everything is going great but then someone pulls the rug from out from under you and you can just be heartbroken. It’s happened to me before and it was happening to a friend of mine. (One day) she was feeling low and I said, ‘No, we’re not going to do that to ourselves again. We’re going to get out.’ So, I wrote about it.
There’s a line in the song that she penned, especially for her friend:
‘I’m not going to cry for moon or milk or for you. A burning bridge is going to light the way and you know that I’m pulling through.’
Watching the Dandelions grow is an early fan favourite.
“I’m at a point where all my friends are getting married. But in my career choice, that’s not where I am right now. And Facebook has brought all that to the fore. Everyday you see that people are in relationships or out of relationships. It’s just a constant update.
“So the song has lots of references to weddings and marriage and parents calling to say, ‘what’s going on? Why aren’t you settling down?’ I think it’s a pretty prominent thing on P.E.I. but my dreams are bigger then just settling down. It’s not that I don’t believe in settling down and marriage and kids and all that good stuff. I can’t wait. But my dreams are bigger than settling down,” she says.
Seven Nut Pie was inspired by her first day on the job at Leonhard’s Café in Charlottetown, where she continues to work as a server.
“Axel was showing me around the café. At one point he opened the pastry cooler and said ‘seven nut pie’.
“And it was like a song had just dropped out of the sky. So, I ran to the bathroom and wrote it on napkins. I was the worst server that day, but I had the song,” says Blanchard, adding she’s excited about the launch.
“We’re taking this month to focus on this show. After the launch, I have a MusicP.E.I. showcase. Then I’m doing a Maritime tour with Dan Walsh, a phenomenal banjo picking songwriter from the United Kingdom, before taking off on a tour of Ontario.
“It’s going to be a busy fall.”
Sally Cole is a features writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 629-6000, ext. 6054.