Cabin Fever

Jim Bryson recounts The Falcon Lake Incident

  • Feb. 24, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Jim Bryson recounts The Falcon Lake Incident

For many, being stuck with a bunch of guys in a Manitoba cabin during an extreme cold snap would be their idea of hell. But when that particular bunch of guys are the Weakerthans and you’re holed up in the lodge to record a new album, all of a sudden, the -40° temperatures don’t seem so bad.

That was the situation Ottawa’s Jim Bryson found himself in last January, when a lunch conversation with Weakerthans guitarist Stephen Carroll turned to talk about when Bryson would be releasing a new record.

“I said, ‘Well, I just started making one. Funny you should ask, I would love if you guys ever wanted to play on some stuff,’” says Bryson. “He said, ‘I think there’s a visiting artist program, but we’d have to do it in Winnipeg. How do you feel about coming to Winnipeg to record?’”

Well, they didn’t quite end up in Winnipeg, but about 150 kilometres east, in a lodge on Falcon Lake, Manitoba in the dead of winter. For six days, Bryson and the Weakerthans laid down the 10 tracks that would become The Falcon Lake Incident.

“What was really rewarding about this and hopefully comes across in the music is that, at the end of the day, we were together,” Bryson says of the recording. “When you record in the city, everyone goes about their days. Everyone has got to go to soccer practice or walk the dog or bring back their library books or whatever the case may be … The nice thing about being somewhere isolated is it’s a bit of a submarine life.”

Bryson says he spent some time before the recording session working on a few of the songs and trying to take them in Weakerthans-friendly directions. “It was fun to try and get inside their heads a little bit — but at the same time, I didn’t do that,” the singer-songwriter says. “I knew that when it came to arranging the songs, their stamp would be on them right away. The second they start playing together, they sound like they sound.”

Even though the two parties were very familiar with each others’ music — Bryson has toured with the Weakerthans in the past — Bryson says there were still a few surprises during that cold week on Falcon Lake.

“This wasn’t the type of record I thought I was going to make,” he says. “When I was writing the songs, some of the demos are just really intimate little cozy songs that we kind of blew open a little bit.”

And it seems Bryson and the band have been spending more time together in close quarters; they’ve embarked on a cross-Canada tour — minus frontman John K. Samson, who is up in Dawson City for a creative residency — which includes a stop here in Victoria.

“It’s not lost on me that this is a pretty rare opportunity and this time next year, we’ll all be off doing different things,” says Bryson. “We’ll have the memories, but for now, it really is pretty great . . . that we get to do this together.”

Here’s to hoping this isn’t the last we see of this creative collaboration. M

Jim Bryson and the Weakerthans Band8pm Sunday, Feb. 27(early show, 12am curfew)Sugar, 858 YatesTickets $17.50atomiqueproductions.com                                                   

Just Posted

Rockin’ steady with Phonosonics

Victoria roots reggae band looks to attract wider audience with appearance on Rise Up TV show

Sooke man pursues music for a lifetime

Al Pease has been playing music for over 65 years

Django jazz live in Oak Bay Saturday

Pearl Django performs Saturday, April 28 in the Upstairs Lounge, Oak Bay Recreation Centre,

REVIEW: Salt Baby’s search for identity begins at the Belfry

New stage show has plenty of story to work with, but the characters sometimes get lost in the mix

Rick Scott and Nico Rhodes bring ‘Roots & Grooves‘ to Duncan Showroom

There are 40 years between their ages but who cares when there’s this much talent going around

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Ballet Victoria soirée fundraiser a prelude to final show of season

Company winds up its 15th season in the city with Peter Pan next month

Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

NatGeo Live series finale May 2 at the Royal features renowned paleontologist

Celebrate Earth Day with guided walks through Beacon Hill Park

Local naturalists explore Garry oak ecosystem on Camas Day

Shania Twain set to visit CFB Esquimalt

Country music star is meeting members of the Canadian Armed Forces

Blue Bridge Theatre kicks off it 10th season with fun Russian farce

Unique spin on Chekov classic promises surprises

Cochrane alters lyrics to honour Humboldt Broncos

Rock singer, performing at the Elements Casino grand reopening May 5, changes up ‘Big League’

Who’s afraid of Friday the 13th?

Is friggatriskaidekaphobia harmless fun, or should we be proceeding with caution today?

Scottish Country Dance Society members hone their skills

Annual workshops and ball a success, regular classes resume Tuesday

Most Read