Tyler Ellis | Straid Hill (Remix)

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Straid Hill (Remix)

by Tyler Ellis

TORONTO SINGER'S FIRST DISC POURS OUT WRY WITH A TWIST ...an outstanding debut record that measures up with humor, humanity and a wonderfully heart-worn poetic muse about life in the Great White North." (Mitch Potter, Toronto Star)
Genre: Folk: Folk-Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Shaken
3:45 $0.99
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2. Old Flame
4:13 $0.99
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3. Nothing Better
3:46 $0.99
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4. Straid Hill
3:36 $0.99
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5. Achilles' Heart
3:15 $0.99
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6. The Blues
4:00 $0.99
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7. On a Rock
3:07 $0.99
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8. It's Over
4:36 $0.99
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9. Serendipitous (The TTC Song)
4:23 $0.99
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10. white River
5:28 $0.99
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11. Trail of '98
3:41 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Tyler Ellis is a Canadian Treasure – a hidden treasure, no doubt, but a treasure nonetheless. How someone who writes the most wonderfully understated, insightful, wry, disarming, and uniquely Canadian songs has been able to keep such a low profile for so many years is perhaps more of a testament to his own Canadianness then the stories he tells. Ellis has shared a bill with Ron Hynes, James Keelaghan, Steven Paige, and Mr. Dressup; has had a video on Much Music; has fielded calls with John Oakley on 640 Talk Radio; has performed live on Global and City TV; has periodically received local and national radio exposure; has received national critical acclaim (a half page “four star” review in the Toronto Star); and yet, happily spends most of his time writing, recording, performing locally, coaching (hockey, of course), teaching (music, of course) and spending time with his family. With the release of his new full band record, “Northern Bliss”, and the launch of a new website (www.tylerellis.ca) it seems like this time the secret might just get out. The proof is, of course, in the proverbial pudding... listen, really listen, and you will slowly unearth a treasure trove of songs that perfectly capture, in a subtle turn of phrase, the essence of the human, nay Canadian experience. The exquisitely captured wilderness experience of the “Northern Bliss” title track; the warts and all love story of “Sweet Heart” (Northern Bliss); the “TTC song” (“Serendipitous”, Straid Hill - remix); the wild teen to parent to parent of wild teen ride of “Stubbies” (Horseshoes and Handgrenades); the ‘Canada you’re standing between this East Coast Boy and his Island Queen’ refrain of “West Coast Ways” (tyler ellis live); the story of the seventh Sutter so perfectly captured in “My Brother’s in the NHL” (tyler ellis live, Northern Bliss)– track after track after track after track making you shake your head and wonder how it is possible that someone who has his finger so firmly on the pulse of this nation has lingered so long in relative obscurity. The jig is up, spread the word, Canada needs her songs, Tyler Ellis needs to be heard.

"John Prine meets a well-primed Sir John A. Macdonald... with Crazy Horse playing backup."
(Mitch Potter, The Toronto Star)

More about Straid Hill:

“Straid Hill” was recorded “live off the floor” over three days in March, 1994 in a logcabin at Ellis' family farm, “Straid Hill”, north of Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. The recording was done by the most awesome Doug McClement and his state of the art Comfort Sound Mobile Studio (renamed: Live Wire Remote). Upon release, the record received some critical acclaim (see:“kind words”) and was re-released on Serge Sloimovits’ “Dark Light Records” (Willie P. Bennett, Leslie Spit Treo, The Sidemen…) in 1995.

The version available here is a re-mix done by musician/producer John Switzer in 2010 after the original 2 inch tape had to be transferred to digital before it disintegrated. Some backup vocals were added by Switzer and by Michael Walker in 2011. According to Ellis, the original release was mixed by McClement on a ridiculous shoestring budget ("we spent all our money on recording like the bunch of rookies we were"). McClement mixed the entire record in one day in the mobile studio.

On this re-mixed version Jon Vopni, of Vopni Parsons Design revamped his brilliant cover illustration and Chris Bingham’s back cover image (write it on a rock) from the original pressing version. The band on “Straid Hill” had only recently formed following the completion of Ellis' first studio demo: “Better than the real you”. This early recording (1992?) was done at Fred Duvall’s studio and utilized the talents of “The Pranksters” (Michael Walker: keys and vocals; John McClean: bass; Warren Lastewka: drums; Michael Barnes: electric guitar and vocals). Bob Vopni also played some wicked guitar on this recording. The Pranksters were an awesome obscure-covers/originals band that played all over the Golden Horseshoe (including a long standing New Year’s Eve show at the rough and tumble Black Bull at Queen and John in downtown Toronto). It was not long after the completion of “Better than the Real You”, that Walker, McClean, Lastewka and the “anything with strings” player Dave Bennett (formerly of the Philosopher Kings) joined Ellis to form the Tyler Ellis band. It became apparent quite early on that “Better than the Real You”, although wonderful in its own right, did not really represent this new, well-rehearsed, folky/rootsy band and it was from this realization that “Straid Hill” was born.

According to Tyler:
Making Straid Hill was an experience that continues to inform everything I do. Try and write songs that are honest and true, surround yourself with great people who care deeply about what they do, and try, as best you can, to capture those songs “just the way they are”. The re-release (of the newly Mixed and Remastered Straid Hill) is something I've been wanting to do for a very long time and I am thrilled, to say the least, to finally have the amazing work everyone did on this record really come across. As McClement said, I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

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