Shane Anthony

Shane Anthony

BandFolkPop

Shane Anthony is a singer-songwriter that has receives accolades as one of the finest and most distinctive contemporary Aboriginal musicians in Canada (“Best Songwriter” nomination at the 2001 Aboriginal Music Awards and 2 Nominations in the 2005 Toronto Independent Music Awrds).

Biography

Work To Do (out October 2005 on The Breath Records) features 12 new songs that cover an ambitious range of themes, style and emotions: the languished yet bursting take on working life of the title track; unique takes on longing for personal transformation on “Got Up Today” and “Manitou”; the wounded sentiments of “Simon” and “Waiting For Change”; and climaxing with the candid look at the place where things begin with “Talking To Me”.

Patrice Mousseau, producer and on-air host of Aboriginal Voices Radio (AVR – 106.5 FM in Toronto), praises Anthony as “a listener favourite. Shane Anthony is folk rock wryly twisted. Hot blooded, intimate and natural, Shane's lyrics coax lasting pleasure and repays repeated listening."

Says Anthony, “I’ve been inspired by artists like Aimee Mann and Ron Sexsmith in as much as they can seemingly tell a complete story in song, with protagonists and heartache; a movie or a novel in three minutes. At the same time I’ve looked to artists like Ben Harper and J.B. Lenoir; people who come from a gospel-blues background and can sing about a different kind of heartache, one that takes in the totality of the world around us and begs us to make a change, starting with ourselves. And Work To Do more than any other album I’ve been a part of really captures both of those aspirations.”

Since the release of Hands Like Mine in 2000, Anthony has been performing music with gigs at NXNE, SXSW, Mariposa Folk Festival, APTN’s Buffalo Tracks, and various gigs across Canada. Concurrently, he has co-founded and developed an on-line arts community website (www.thebreath.com) which has been sighted by Yahoo.com as a “Best of the Web” pick in 2002. If that were not enough, Shane has also been travelling throughout Canada working with the Métis political and artistic community on documentaries and multimedia productions for world indigenous gatherings, such as the Indigenous Summit of the Americas in 2003.

“For the past five years I’ve been holed up working on films and documentaries, story-telling in that medium and gathering a better understanding of the immense spiritual and historical legacy that I am a part of in being an Aboriginal Canadian,” Anthony explains, “but I’ve also been bursting at the seams to get back to record another album, to use the medium of music to tell much more personal stories.”

The initial tracking for Work To Do was recorded over three days at Little Bullhorn Prods, by Dave Draves (Kathleen Edwards, Gentleman Reg) in Ottawa, with just drums (Jesse Baird), keyboards (Craig Harley), and guitars and vocals (Anthony). Those live-off-the-floor recordings were then transferred to the digital world and brought to Jordan O’Connor (Cash Cow, Don Ross) at The Breath Studios in Toronto, where they were treated with bass overdubs and orchestral arrangements. Work To Do was then mixed and mastered at The Breath Studios by Jordan O’Connor in the spring of 2005.

“It is always a joy to write and record music or perform with other musicians, but it is without question a real wonder to make music with my co-producer, Jordan O’Connor. I’ve known him since grade four—we’re 32 now, so that’s a long time of dreaming together, and laughing incessantly at ourselves. At those times, it’s hard to realize we’re even working, but the work we did do—most notably the string arrangements on the album—is a testament to our willingness to explore the tunes together. I’m really excited about this record, but after this experience—a first for me with a co-producer—I’m excited about future recordings more than ever,” Anthony explains.

In the midst of getting the record prepared, taking over a year and a half, a unique opportunity came about from Spirit magazine, a Canadian Aboriginal magazine with national distribution. They were preparing a music issue and soliciting songs to include on the CD insert, which was handled by Sony Music Canada. After receiving the call for submissions, Anthony and O’Connor put together a quick edit and mix on “Got Up Today” and sent it in. It was accepted and then to the surprise of Anthony it appeared in Western Aboriginal radio charts at number 7—an unreleased track taken from a magazine compilation promotional CD.

“It was a very weird phone call to receive from my sister who was reading Windspeaker newspaper and noting the chart to me. I had to go buy a copy to believe it myself. My first thought was, I better fill out the SOCAN forms for the tune and I better hurry up and finish the record already—maybe my friends who heard early mixes of the record weren’t lying to me when they said it had some cool tunes on it,” explains Anthony.

And now, with the completion and release of Work To Do, the real journey is set to begin: taking this fine collection of songs on the road and into people’s hearts.

Lyrics

Miracles Here

Written By: Shane Anthony

There's an old cat, weighs nothing more than a bag of bones
He's following the sun, from room to room, and mat to mat
Is it for the warmth? - I'm not so sure I can tell, he is smiling
'cause it heals

There are miracles here
There are miracles here

I was no bigger than a tadpole
Born in water, I shed my tail, we are shape-shifters
And one day I'll find my way to love
And I'll hold our tadpole, in my arms
With these hands, with these hands that work

There are miracles here
I swear, there are miracles here

I made it this far to learn, we live on eating the sun and rain
And it's this mystery that is keeping us alive
And this search for home until the day I die
I'll fall into the earth, the seas of change
And I'll be born as corn, and I'll be eaten by the sun and rain
It's all the same, It's all the same

There are miracles here
I swear, there are miracles here

And I'll do it all for love

Got Up Today

Written By: Shane Anthony

The collective will is pushing right through
In this tare down fast you better get yours too
As we pass this torch from super-place to place
It doesn't really matter it's the same bloody race (2xs)

And little ol' me "what can I do?"
And that's the power of what they do to you
They'll buy you what you need and give you a membership
And now there's something to loose you'll never do it
Now that there's something to loose, will you ever do it?

Chorus: I got up today, yeah (4xs)

The more I think about it the more I can get hopeless
'Cause when you break it down it's just selfishness
and who am I to judge when I love to buy/
but when I look at this earth, I know I gotta try

As I'm burning down University Avenue
I hear the words of a friend right outta the blue
"you can't do everything, but everyone can do something"
your time is finite here, so whatcha gonna do?

Eucalyptus Tree

Written By: Shane Anthony

Under the eucalyptus tree
A bird lifts, I stretch my arms out, as you carve into me
Petroglyphs, on my chest, of where you've been
Make an impression, it's my omission
How thankful I am to meet

Under the eucalyptus tree
I hold my hand out, everything fits and falls, so perfectly
And my feet trip over, the roots of your love, Tangoed beneath me
I made an impression, it's you're omission
Now we struggle to breathe

Under the eucalyptus tree
A star breaks, it's too late, it's time to leave
My eyes are burning, my teeth are hurting, from the cold
I want to breath, the warmth from your neck, as he's done before
So I'll burn this tree, it'll be me
In my smoke signal for you

I'm going to burn

Discography

"Hands Like Mine" (LP - Nomintated for a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award - Best Songwriting)
"Sky Stories" (EP)

Tracks are streaming at www.metisradio.fm and can be downloaded and heard at www.thebreath.com/sab.html.

Or you can listen to AVR in Toronto (106.5 FM) which plays our music often. (Among other radio stations acorss Canada - mostly Indie-types.)

Set List

Currently we play a lot of new songs that are set to come out on the record in 2005. But we usually mix and match from all past CD's too. As well, we love to throw in a Lyle Lovett or Willie Nelson cover, or maybe something from Skip James or L.B. Lenoir. Or the Beatles. But when we "cover" a tune, it takes on a whole other life of its own.