Lately, when listening to the BBC 6 Music program Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, I’ve been waiting until after the broadcast and then I play it on BBC Sounds. In addition to it being on-demand there (though on live internet play, it can also be paused), the episode microsite shows a full listing of the bands and tracks.
Yesterday, around 18 minutes in on the program playback, I almost fell out of my chair when Garvey started talking about Oklahoma singer/songwriter Samantha Crain. I immediately recalled seeing Crain perform in Winnipeg when local treasure Scott Nolan brought her here a year ago (February 10, 2019), and they shared the playbill at The Park Theatre. It was an incredible show; I felt so fortunate to have been there.
(Every time I go by the Park, I remember being there in the 1960s when it was still a movie theatre. I miss the original marquée, but think the owners and designers did their best to preserve the look when renovating the facade recently. It’s a great venue where, in addition to seeing Crain and Nolan, we’ve also seen our own Kieran West & His Buffalo Band, Corin Raymond, Sebastian Owl, The Good Lovelies, The Matinee, and many others.)
Not only is Nolan a brilliant storyteller, singer, songwriter and producer, he also has a flair for finding unique and richly talented artists, and it seems part of his mission in life is to share those artists. He’s also just a very kind human who cares deeply about others.
On the BBC program, Garvey talked about Crain for quite a while (and rightly so!) and mentioned an upcoming show, as she’s on tour in the UK. He then played a new song of hers, “An Echo.” While I provide the usual link to the song at the bottom of the post, it, I also include a link to Garvey’s program (please see the first paragraph of this post). The episode is a tribute to a musician and close friend of Garvey’s, the late Richard Swift, so to me the inclusion of Crain and generous introduction of it is a genuine compliment from one artist to another.
My sweety found an article on broadwayworld.com, in which Crain is interviewed about the song and upcoming album, which is available for pre-order (with two tracks available now, on iTunes, anyway, including today’s selection). From the article: “‘An Echo’ was the song that got me to a point where I wanted to see where this album was going to take me,” Crain says of the track, “…I was in the throes of this heightened mental and emotional stress… [it] touches on issues within my family, which was kind of falling apart at that time; my health declining; my personal life being in shambles.”
The singing and instrumentation are stunning. I find the bass line haunting, and there’s an oboe in the last part of the song; it made me think of the beautiful playing of Winnipeg multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Rusu, who often plays with Nolan.
Clearly, Samantha Crain is admired by peers like Garvey and Nolan, and for a good reason.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official video from Samantha Crain’s YouTube channel (after you watch the video below, subscribe and lay down some “Likes” on her videos!):