Under a Stormy Sky

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, long trips to cottage country in northwestern Ontario meant some CDs and some radio, but FM stations didn’t reach too well in rural areas, so it was often AM radio. Near noon on Saturday meant CBC’s Quirks and Quarks (with Jay Ingram) and Basic Black (with the late Arthur Black). During Black’s show, he’d use musical interludes to separate segments of his show. 

One such interlude was “Under a Stormy Sky” which was the first song I ever heard by Canadian singer, songwriter and producer Daniel Lanois. It is from Lanois’ first CD, Acadie (1989) and I must have bought it right after returning home from that weekend trip. 

In addition to his releases, Lanois has produced records for a variety of big-name performers including U2, Bob Dylan, Martha and the Muffins/M+M (played on and produced, and brother to M+M bassist Jocelyne Lanois), Neil Young, The Spoons, and Emmylou Harris. He’s also famous for working with Brian Eno on several collaborations (please see my January 6, 2020 post for one of those those). I think it’s fantastic for a Canadian artist to have received such international acclaim for his work; in addition to a Juno, he’s received 11 Grammy awards.

While I really like the style of today’s track — and I dare you not to at least tap your toes while it plays — one of my favourite songs by Lanois is “The Maker,” another track from the same album; one with a great bass line and guitar effects (Lanois’ own recordings and productions remind me so much of the “aural landscapes” of Eno’s music), for which there’s a YouTube video of him playing it live with Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson. He’s also played that one with others, and it’s been covered by Dave Matthews, and Jerry Garcia.  It was a toss-up whether to feature “The Maker” or “Under a Stormy Sky” today. The latter won out; upbeat and only two minutes, 20 seconds, it’s a good way to get into this very cold Friday in Winnipeg, Canada — or anywhere!

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy… and by all means, tap your toes, or even get up and dance! (It’s not one of Sweety’s and my kitchen dance songs, yet… but hey, it might just be…)

Here’s the song, from Daniel Lanois’ YouTube channel

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