About The Easy Straight (CD/DVD)


"An' I wouldn't pray for a ol' fella that's dead. He's alright. He got a job to do, but it's all laid out for him an' there's on'y one way to do it. But us, we got a job to do, an' they's a thousand ways, an' we don' know which one to take. An' if I was to pray, it'd be for the folks that don' know which way to turn. Grampa here, he's got the easy straight. An' now cover 'im up and let 'im get to his work."
(John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath)

This project took shape as a result of conversations in conservation areas, hallways, emails, and coffee shops about best methods of capturing musical performance. We agreed that we wanted live, single take, ensemble recording in a resonant space. We also agreed that the occasional aural artefact (footsteps, passing trucks, thunder) wouldn't bother us, and, as you will hear, it didn't. The first nine tracks are single takes; there is an edit near the end of the last track as a check to hubris.

I am indebted to all involved. The performances speak for themselves.

George Meanwell (vocals, guitar, banjo, concertina)
Anna Atkinson (violin, accordion, vocals)
Eric St-Laurent (guitar)
Michael McClennan (bass)
Ian Harper (clarinet)
Graham Hargrove (toy pianos)

Recorded October 22nd and 23rd 2012
Factory 163, Stratford, Ontario

Audio: Andy Allen and Mike Walsh
Video: Andy Allen and Jennifer Schamehorn
Logistics: Travis Seetoo, Maryann Co
Brokerage: Rick Fox

Mastering: Peter J. Moore
CD artwork and design: Neil Ornstein

I tried to figure out some way of getting the cover art as a booklet on iTunes, but you need to be a major label, and (this just in) I ain't. But you can see a .pdf of the beautiful work Neil Ornstein did here. (Right click for download options.)