Great Plains
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Great Plains

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Home of the New Totem (Out of Touch 2007)


Feeling a bit camera shy


"We started Great Plains in 2004, with ambiguous intent and even more ambiguous plans. Lachie MacDonald and Jeffers Lennox and I recorded our first album - Home of the New Totem - in 2006 and released it the next year on Out of Touch Records. The love of Lachie's life drew him away to Toronto (where he now plays with Greg MacPherson), so I enlisted the help of my roommate and colleague Jason Vautour (Jon Epworth & The Improvements, Rebekah Higgs) to fill the void.

We piled ourselves, Rebekah Higgs (Outside Music) and company, a metric ton of equipment, and most of Lachie's worldly posessions into our noble 15-passenger, and set out on tour. After running the circuit in Southern Ontario, we dropped Lachie at his new love nest and ventured back, playing Jason's first shows with us on the way home.

Somewhat unbeknownst to Jason, I had no intention of keeping his nimble fingers on those bass strings for very long. I'd been envisioning the songs with two guitars for some time, and Jason's guitar playing was - and is - unparalleled in Halifax in my esteem. I'd already been sifting the pile for another bassist when it struck me that he'd been right under my nose.

Andrew Wiseman had been overachieving in Halifax's all-ages scene for a few years before it struck me that he was an eminently capable and versatile sort of chap - recording engineer, producer, songwriter, bassist, guitarist, RIDICULOUS drummer - who fortuitously had taken a liking to my fellow Plainsmen and I.

I didn't ask Jason to play guitar so much as inform him that he would be doing so. He - being an agreeable sort of guy - overlooked my presumptuous supposition and picked up his venerable and trusty Vantage six-string.

Thus, we expanded, for better or worse. It's a resounding "better", so far, which makes me optimistic. The foursome played its first pair of shows at the Halifax Pop Explosion this past October. We have an album's worth of new stuff, and some parts to write and re-write, but not before we venture again into the urban wastes of Southern Ontario to ply our trade."

Sean MacGillivray

December 4th, 2007