In the following pages and posts, you will find pretty much the complete story of Pat Braden, Bassist, Singer/Songwriter and Storyteller, starting from his early days playing Electric and String Bass with high school concert and big bands, community choral and theatre productions, jazz , blues, rock and country bands, from Blues men to Metis fiddlers, from folk singers to throat singers, on the stage or in the studio.
In addition to his Bass skills, he writes, records and performs his music on the Chapman Stick ™, a Guitar/Bass hybrid that expands his contribution to the arrangement of a song by adding subtle, chordal pads or melodic, rhythmic parts on the five guitar strings while playing a bass groove on the five bass strings.
He has released 3 CDs as a Singer/Songwriter, a Storytelling CD of northern fables and a live CD of his first 90 minute solo Storytelling performance. All of these CDs are available to stream from the “Recordings” page on this site. Most recently, he released a live DVD of his second solo Storytelling performance.
If ever you wanted a glimpse of life in Canada’s north, writer and storyteller Pat Braden will give you a captivating view. He weaves story into song, song into story, sometimes spoken word resonating over a textural bed of music, a rolling chord pattern or a shimmering soundscape generated on The Chapman Stick which, like northerners, may seem somewhat extraordinary.
I just want to pre-blog/post the following posts of the gigs I have been playing over the last year as an explanation to some of you following me on the interweb as to why I have been laying low over the last while. The above photo portray my circumstances over the last year quite well. Ever since I became a Dad, I have recognized that I have to live life like a tree. in an effort to balance the work/life continuum. Sometimes the winds demand that I bend towards tending my creative/productive soul and other times, it demands that I bend towards tending to the well being of loved ones. I have to be resilient enough to bend in both directions when times and circumstances demand. If I didn’t bend, I would break and be not much good to myself or anyone else, yes?
The last 15 months or so have been one of those times when I have been called on to be there for my family. Thus, much of my time, energy and focus has gone towards seeing my kin through some pretty rough times that are ongoing as I write this note. When it began, I was beating myself up pretty good in that I wasn’t spending as much time, energy and focus on my own music creation/production and came to a place where I accepted there was an element of sacrifice required if I was to pull through myownself. The way I have described it is, that there is more important work that needed to be done. So, I went quiet for the last while, just taking on sideman gigs as they presented themselves and most of what you will see in the last 5 or so posts from the last year. These gigs have been really good for me as “work” and as a release, as it always is, of the stress I was carrying. So, thanks to all who have hired me for these gigs and I look forward to doing much more of my own music as “the winds of changes shift” (Zimmerman)
New North Collective
Over the last few years, I have mentored under and worked with Debbie Peters and her booking / management company Magnum Opus Management (MOM). (www.magnumom.ca) In November 2014, Debbie called to ask if I would be interested in being a part of a pan-Territorial collective/collaborative music project. The other artists in the project being Yukon artists Diyet and Robert Van Lieshout, Graeme Peters, Bob Hamilton, NWT artists Diga Wolf and myself and Nunavut artist Sylvia Cloutier. The concept behind this collective being to create a live musical performance that would include all 3 territories to perform on theatre stages and at large events (sporting, festival) bringing a full palate of northern artists to audiences in one performance package.
To that end, we gathered in Whitehorse at the end of May, 2015 to start writing the show and spent 5, 10 – 12 hour days at Bob Hamilton’s Old Crow Recording studio. At the end of that time, we had 6 songs, pretty much full musical arrangements with some rough lyrics and concept ideas.
After 5 days, Diga and I returned back to Yellowknife, returning to Whitehorse in late June to finish writing the songs. Diyet, Graeme, Zeus the cat and myself spent a day fleshing out lyrics for the songs and the next day, we were back at it in the studio for another 5 days to put together 2 45 minute sets for the Adaka Cultural Festival (http://www.adakafestival.ca/) which was happening while we were rehearsing, we performed an evening show on June 30 and nailed the sets. So cool to be on stage with these fine musicians and to be playing material that we all wrote together a few short days before.
Our next show was at the Para-Pan Am games, (Panamania) held in Toronto in August, 2015. Our hotel was across the street from the venue at Nathan Phillips Square and we were treated to a few days of world class entertainment before our show on Monday evening. I got to see Leela Gilday and her band peform, Tanya Tagaq and Toronto gospel group, 3 Winans Brothers. (http://3winansbrothers.com/) (This group had me in tears!) We got together to rehearse with our newest member, Sylvia Cloutier at the “Ratspace” rehearsal/studio (http://www.ratspace.com/) on Sunday afternoon before the Monday gig. Had a chance to talk with the owner/proprietor, Robin, about the Toronto music scene. Very cool to talk with a player who has been in the city for 30 – 40 years and being a part of all of the changes that have happened in that time.
Monday was shaping up to be a busy day, with some of the group doing media interviews and Leela and her band getting ready to play for their mid-day set. I caught most of her dynamic set, bumped into my good friend Lesley Johnson in the middle of the square and headed back to the hotel to get ready for our own sound check. I wasn’t really paying attention to weather but apparently at the tail end of Leela’s set, the heavens opened up and there was a tremendous downpour. We met up in the lobby just before our sound check and there were all these very wet people walking around trying to dry out. We learned that our sound check was postponed as there was a lightening watch in place in downtown Toronto and both of the Nathan Phillips Square stages were shut down as a result. So, we waited and waited out the afternoon until 5 pm, our set was scheduled at 7. We managed to squeeze in a 5 minute sound check, splashing through the saturated backstage area before Graeme had to run to the other stage for his set with “Speed Control”. Then we waited and waited backstage as there had been another lightening alert and finally, we got on to play our set at about 7:30 to maybe 50 people brave enough to stand in the rain to catch our set. It was a fine set, Sylvia’s mesmerizing and evocative dance and throat singing took the group to a beautiful place, in spite of the soggy weather.
Copyright © 2010 Pat Braden