When I was 21 years old I started working with a drummer by the name of Mike Larson and playing bass with my Dad’s band Duster. Mike was seventeen and the grandson of Teekie and Carrie Mason. Teekie and Carrie had a family band and they were friends of my Dad’s. Mike and I met at a jam at the Buffalo Hotel in Red Deer. We became fast friends, holding down the bottom end for Duster on stage and in the studio since 1996.So fast forward to the spring of 2016. I had recently lost my job and I was recovering from ear surgery. I was unable to work or gig for at least six weeks and had no income. I had been living in Edmonton, working and playing gigs with my good friends Young Medicine. With no money coming in, I had to make a move. I wasn’t stuck, I could always stay with my sister Nadette in Red Deer but what I was really looking for was a place to start recording some new songs. Mike and his wife Amy were renting a little house on an acreage just outside of Caroline Alberta. I told Mike I was looking for a space to record, he suggested I come out and take over his basement. I was so thankful for the opportunity to get out of the city and I enjoyed many sunrises on their deck listening to the birds sing while I sipped on coffee and savored a morning smoke. I banged out most of the arrangements for this album in the 3 or 4 weeks I stayed in Caroline, and I was determined to finish the album by the end of 2016!
Sometimes life has other plans…I eventually got a job in Edmonton, June of 2016. I had stumbled in to some gigs at the historic Transit hotel, working with a local drummer Jason Berg. I somehow convinced him to rent me a room for a couple months. I was saving money for a new place and trying to get set up again in Edmonton, my computer crashed and I could not afford to fix it. I no longer had any means of recording, so everything was put on hold. I continued to work and play shows with friends and write songs. If it weren’t for friends and family this project would have never happened. I’ve got a lot of people to thank for this project. Leanne Goose offered to help manage me, I was a test subject for her classes in Arts and Cultural Management at MacEwan University. I benefitted so much from her education I probably should pay a percentage of her tuition. My bro, Jared Sowan offered to work on one of my songs “Runnin”. Jared, Leanne and myself produced that track and it was my first song to get National Radio Airplay, charting on the Indigenous Music Countdown. I also had a really special song called “Kokum’s Stories”, which Curt Young from Young Medicine worked with me. Things eventually turned around, my parents loaned me the money for a new computer, and I was ready to put in the work and finish up the album. I had a lot of time to work on my songs with The Dirty Boots, Jason Berg and Sean Armitage. We later added Eric Skonberg and played a bunch of shows together. Jason, Sean and Eric all played on the album. I also wanna thank all the other musicians that helped out: Smokey Fennel - steel guitar, dobro and banjo, Chris Leslie - fiddle, Jared Sowan - piano, keyboard, harmony vocals, Russell Shott - guitar, Preston Cave - harmony vocals, Zachery Daniel Robertson - guitar, Jamie Medicine Crane - cedar flute, Leanne on backing vocals, album photography, website design, co-production, vocal coaching and moral support. Brad Crowfoot for album cover design. I like to look at each project as a moment in time. The album’s called “ Now… and Then” because it represents where I am right now in my musical journey, and in each song there is a piece of the puzzle that lead me to this moment in time.