Trevor Tchir
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Trevor Tchir

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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Music

Press


"Review of "Wooden Castles Fall" by Penguin Eggs"

Trevor Tchir is fascinated by the stories of our country and, like Maria Dunn, he effectively translates this interest into multi-dimensional, lyrically rich songs. - Penguin Eggs Magazine


"Review of "Wooden Castles Fall" SEE Magazine"

"Even when he strums alone, Tchir is surrounded by people. His lyrics are populated with characters who are both universal and intimate: poets who waitress, not-even-exes wondering why love never got a foothold, and grandparents building a nation and a place in it. In Tchir’s hands place, time and relationships become characters, too, with their own agendas and idiosyncrasies...Like Bob Dylan or James Taylor, Tchir’s velvet-and-smoke voice sounds the same indefinable age throughout all his recordings, which seamlessly weave ’70s Tapestry sounds with bluesy-country touches; his allegiance is to the time-honoured art of evoking emotion through storytelling." - SEE Magazine, Christa O'Keefe


"Review of "Wooden Castles Fall" by St. Albert Gazette"

"Wooden Castles Fall is a singular body of work that is a testament to Tchir's personal integrity...It's a fairly sophisticated vision that reworks the stuff of everyday experiences...He's created many prairie images and tales with poetic lyrics that are at times humoured, tender and insightful. And the instumentation is spare but evocative...There's a strong core of philosophical truth and artistic integrity at the heart of this album, the kind that could be around for generations when other popular mainstream pieces have faded into obscurity." - St. Albert Gazette


"4 star Ottawa Xpress Review of "November""

"When Trevor Tchir put out his first album, The Way I Feel Today (1999), he had a kind of freewheelin’ approach – a style clearly inspired by the likes of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. At heart, this Edmonton-raised Ottawan is still a singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar, but he has taken his brand of folk music a step further. The result, on impressive songs such as Elevate Achilles and Soul Sister is something even Dylan would enjoy, and Bob might just envy this singer’s young vocal chords." - Ottawa Xpress


"Sky Locked Land review"

To accuse Trevor Tchir of singing like Calexico’s Joey Burns is no insult; he takes the best of Burns’ The Black Light-era quaver and applies that subdued, iconic style to our Alberta situation in a great leap since his last local album. Overall, Tchir sounds (and is!) more mature, moving on from simply detailing his surroundings to actually populating them with people broken in fascinating ways that not all of them necessarily understand or even notice. It’s an album of regret and slow-moving hope, given extra weight by the passing of Tchir’s father.
There are clichés, but they’re mythic clichés, and Tchir’s lyrics dig deep, f’rinstance: “I’ve been saving like a dam, but they drain you where they can.” Wow, remember just a year back, when it was just artists suffering in the boom instead of, like, everyone?
Tchir has moved away from intentionally muddy country into a more exploratory folk style, which means a song like “Beneath the Mountain Ash” needs nothing more than his ruminations emitting from a head bent over a single acoustic guitar. (Just watch out for the drunken waxwings.) Accordion and violin come in at perfect times. White space plays just as important a role. There’s a pretty duet with Volya Baziuk too. And the lament about tearing down Maple Leaf Gardens is one to keep in mind as we watch our city’s insatiable elites’ thick-tongued move to pillage, demonize, and erase the only arena the Oilers ever thrived in. Tchir’s passion for the old Gardens is nostalgic and charming.
Go to the release party on Oct. 10 at Queen Alex Hall for more — you’ll dig it for sure.
**** - See Magazine


"Sky Locked Land review"

A decade ago, at 19, Trevor Tchir made his first album. His debut demonstrated a natural affinity with a classic strain of poetic folk straddling the rootsy ease of Townes van Zandt and the high-minded '60s coffeehouse sounds of Leonard Cohen. Tchir was also blessed with an almost effortlessly lovely voice, smooth and supple, like a differently-tuned cousin of James Taylor.
His earlier efforts are all worthy, but now, with the release of his fourth album, Sky Locked Land, comes a startling integration—a sense of Tchir completely inhabiting his work, like when an actor who was previously handsome and capable acquires the further burnishment of character. An intangible something has been breathed into the music, and the songs that make up Sky Locked Land have a lived-in feel that animates the entire album.
Sky Locked Land answers the American Songbook with a Canadian volume, seeking to project that kind of universality through the specificity of stories and the beauty of craft. Listeners travel with Tchir through space (from the Great Lakes to Slave Lake on a longtime couple's road trip; from Newfoundland to the tar sands in search of prosperity) and through time (to a childhood backyard discovery; to an unproductive Alberta farm) and into dreams that range from disturbing to hopeful.
The stories largely converge on themes of collective memory, community and haunting dislocation, stretched across the elements of earth and sky, and are counterpointed and echoed by the warmth of the music, whether polished and full or loose and spare.
Perhaps the key to the album's vibrancy is a sort of spiritual interplay between the stories—rooted in truth, drawn from his own experiences or those of family members—and the music, created with an ever-expanding circle of musicians Tchir counts as community.
- Vue Magazine


Discography

Sky Locked Land (Fall 2009) / Wooden Castles Fall (2005) / November (2001) / The Way I Feel Today (1999)

Photos

Bio

In October, Trevor Tchir released his fourth independent album, Sky Locked Land, which broke the top ten in Canada's campus radio roots charts and was #7 at CKUA for 2009. Chart Attack, Edmonton Sun, and See Magazine have compared the album to the work of Calexico. Many of Edmonton's finest musicians are featured on the album, including his brother, Stephen Tchir, Lane Arndt, and Shannon Johnson. It also features long-time friend and collaborator Pierre Chretien, of Ottawa's Soul Jazz Orchestra, on organ. Sky Locked Land was recorded by Terry Tran at Riverdale Recorders, Edmonton, with additional tracking by Jason Jaknunas of Metropolitan Studios, Ottawa.
Tchir unites the sounds and images of Canada's rural and urban spaces. Over the past twelve years, he has played his original songs to audiences across the country. His music tells stories of the people who work and love in its pulsing cities and austere hinterlands. Vue Magazine writes: Sky Locked Land answers the American Songbook with a Canadian volume, seeking to project that kind of universality through the specificity of stories and the beauty of craft.?
Tchir was born in St. Albert, Alberta, where, as a teen, he first heard the music of Bill Bourne, who was an early inspiration and, over two summers, Tchir's guitar teacher. Tchir left Alberta at seventeen for Ottawa, to study and to work in the House of Commons. His first years in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood brought fruitful creative collaboration, spawning Tchir's first release, The Way I Feel Today (1999). In 2001, Tchir released November, whose songs center on themes of devotion, ecological responsibility, and the place of spirituality in a world increasingly bent on economic and technological efficiency. From 2001-04, Tchir co-hosted the popular Cafe Nostalgica weekly hootenanny with poet Kristy McKay, now his wife. These Thursday nights helped to spring the careers of notable Canadian acts like Soul Jazz Orchestra, John Carroll, Rozalind MacPhail, and Melissa Laveaux. In 2005, Tchir released Wooden Castles Fall. Its closing song, Athabasca,? was recently featured in Leslie Iwerks' film, Downstream, shortlisted for the 2009 Academy Award for short documentary, about the environmental health hazards of Alberta oil development. Tchir returned to Edmonton in 2005. He holds a PhD in Political Philosophy from the University of Alberta and wrote his thesis on Hannah Arendt's analogy between performing arts and political action.

Press quotes: "Trevor Tchir is fascinated by the stories of our country and effectively translates this interest into multi-dimensional, lyrically rich songs." -Penguin Eggs Magazine

Tchir takes the best of Calexico's Joey Burns' The Black Light-era quaver and applies that subdued, iconic style to our Alberta situation...It's an album of regret and slow-moving hope...Tchir's lyrics dig deep...Accordion and violin come in at perfect times. White space plays just as important a role.
-Fish Griwkowsky, See Magazine

With the release of Sky Locked Land comes a startling integration-a sense of Tchir completely inhabiting his work. The stories largely converge on themes of collective memory, community and haunting dislocation, stretched across the elements of earth and sky, and are counterpointed and echoed by the warmth of the music, whether polished and full or loose and spare. Perhaps the key to the album's vibrancy is a sort of spiritual interplay between the stories-rooted in truth, drawn from his own experiences or those of family members-and the music, created with an ever-expanding circle of musicians Tchir counts as community. -Mary Christa O'Keefe, Vue Magazine

"Like Bob Dylan or James Taylor, Tchir's velvet-and-smoke voice sounds the same indefinable age throughout all his recordings, which seamlessly weave 70s Tapestry sounds with bluesy-country touches; his allegiance is to the time-honoured art of evoking emotion through storytelling."
-Mary Christa O'Keefe, See Magazine [Wooden Castles Fall]

...wonderfully evocative songs...? -Eden Munro, Vue Magazine [Wooden Castles Fall]

Influences: Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Bill Bourne, Damien Jurado, JJ Cale, Old Reliable, Fiftymen, Gordon Lightfoot