In this fresh collection of interpretations, David’s grasp of pop, jazz, and blues is second to none, with sparkling interpretations of songs Rush, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and more.
Working again with producer George Koller, David sings some of Canada’s best-loved songs, carving out the melodies and the memories of the decades, with his soulful voice at the helm. “George’s musicality and his gentle leadership, his organizational skills and his incredible bass playing were essential to the success of this very complex project,” David says.
“To pay tribute to the songs of Canada’s most well-loved songwriters was a task I did not take lightly. To give each song its own identity while honouring the intent of the writer would be challenging. The contributions of Canadian writers to popular music is enormous. We began with a list of over 100 songs. Our hardest job was determining which of the great songs on this long list NOT to record.”
The star-studded guests on ‘Canadiana’ include Grammy Award winning drummer Larnell Lewis of Snarky Puppy, and includes duets with Laila Biali and Genevieve Marentette, alongside the brilliant jazz playing by Guido Basso and Russ Little. One highlight of many are the cutting edge string arrangements by Aaron Davis framing Shauna Rolston’s moving cello obligato on Sarah McLaughlin’s ‘Angel’ and Laila’s pure angelic voice on Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now.’
David is perhaps one of the best-suited singers to record “Ophelia” by The Band as he considers the group one of his contemporaries. David states, “I’ve known The Band since we played the same bars when they were The Hawks. I consider them to be the greatest rock and roll band ever. I wanted to pay tribute to my old friend, Levon Helm. I knew him well and he was a helluva nice guy.”
David didn’t want to simply cover these tunes. He took daring and satisfying liberties when it served the song, giving it a fresh new sound, and was thrilled with the in-the-moment contemporary takes in the studio. “Who knew how a Neil Young song would sound as a reggae? A Lightfoot song with a funky Memphis groove or a Rush anthem played Afro-Cuban? We had a ball recording this album and I hope that comes through in the music. I hope it brings a smile to the faces of all the songwriters represented here.”
David continues, “The songwriters are what this album is all about. Canada has produced some of the most prolific and influential songwriters in the world. The true poet laureates of Canadian culture. From the stark imagery of a Leonard Cohen lyric to the simple Newfoundland honesty of a Ron Hynes tune, our songwriters in so many ways define our identity as a nation. As we approach our county’s 150th birthday I hope this album brings a glow of pride to every Canadian. Our country has contributed mightily to the arts and particularly to the art of songwriting.

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