When Richard Wood was considering recording his eighth CD, he wanted to create something “really special.”
Known for his dazzling fiddle performances and lively step dancing, the ECMA award-winning fiddler wanted to expand his musical repertoire.
“I didn’t want to do another piano/fiddle/guitar album. I could do one every week if I wanted to,” he told me.
So, for the past five years, Wood has worked quietly away at the project.
“People were always asking me, ‘when’s it coming out, when’s the new album coming out?’ I wanted to do something different with this album. That’s why I took the time to do it,” says Wood who will launch his long-awaited album, “Unbroken” on Saturday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m., at Trinity United Church in Charlottetown.
The 13-track CD featuring Wood and his fiddle covers a variety of genres from traditional Scottish and Irish fiddle tunes to the old-world, gypsy music of “Great Loxodonta”, the jazz stylings of “Gypsy Funk” to the other-worldly soundscape of “Midnight G minor Fantasia” featuring vocals by Teresa Doyle, sound design by Gordon Belsher and saw by Brad Fremlin.
“So, there’s lots of different flavours.”
Wood also wanted to record an album at Guernsey Cove Parlour Productions, owned and operated by his long-time sideman.
“We recorded it at Gordie Belsher’s place. And then we came up with the idea of taking it to Bob Ludwig, who has 16 Grammys, to master it. And he said, ‘yes.’”
In addition, Wood longed to take listeners to a new and different place.
So, he invited some musical friends to come along like Mike Cowie on trumpet and Todd MacLean on saxophone.
Then, one night he had a dream.
“I dreamed I listened to Michael Jackson’s ‘We are the World’. I woke up thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful to have all P.E.I. artists singing on this song?’ And that’s exactly what we did.”
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken” is the finale and features 14 P.E.I. vocalists and four musicians.
“I always wanted to do a gospel album.”
After the launch, Wood heads off on a tour. He’s performing in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and North Carolina.
“I’m looking forward to sharing my new album.”
When he returns, he’ll play gigs closer to home like Halifax.
Then on Nov. 17 Wood will perform at the 10th Nichola Goddard fundraising dinner at the APM Centre in Cornwall with Peter Mansbridge as the guest speaker.
“I’m composing a piece right now. It’s called Care Bear forever. It was Nichola’s nick name in the army. I’m hoping to have it written in time to perform at the dinner.”
Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at sally.cole@TheGuardian.pe.ca or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054
If you are going
- What: Richard Wood’s CD Launch.
- When and where: Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m., Trinity United Church, Charlottetown.
- For CD information: Go to www.rwood.ca.