Songwriter | Multi-Instrumentalist

Born in Harrow, Ontario and based in Kingston, Derek Harrison writes contemporary folk music that pulls from many traditions but retains a distinctly Canadian outlook. His latest album Blossington, recorded in the Bloor/Ossington neighbourhood of Toronto with members of The Old Salts and The Barrel Boys, showcases his lyrical songwriting and fingerstyle acoustic guitar.

"Blossington is, not unexpectedly, an album about places—especially all the ones Harrison has left behind... It was a summer at the corner of Bloor and Ossington that shaped how Blossington came out. Some of that heat can be felt through Harrison’s storytelling and fingerpicking as he charts what brought him to that corner, and hints at what led him away." 
- Grayowl Point

News/Blog

The Weeds 

Everybody's favourite part of making an album. The bulk of the recording is done and now I'm sifting through hundreds of audio files, comparing takes and resisting the urge to polish out too many of the imperfections and idiosyncrasies. 

Self-producing is hard. There were moments in the studio where I hit a wall and tuned out and now I'm paying for it, with small details in the recordings that I should have caught and corrected if I had been paying close enough attention. One entire song is getting rejected because of something that, on the day of recording, I wasn't sure about but which I had decided was "good enough". 

That said, cutting only one song is a new record for me, since there were two cut from "Dead & Gone" and four from "Blossington" (and from the first record I ever made, I rejected every track).

The difference is that on my last two records I let somebody else handle most of the production duties, while this time it's my job to take hours of raw .wav files and decide what to do with them. I've spent most of the last two months gradually layering in vocals and mandolins, reamping bed tracks, noodling on the keyboard, stitching together different takes and second guessing every arrangement decision already laid on tape. 

I am in the weeds, but I can still see the sun. Recording is probably about 80% done, half of the tracks are very close to the state they'll be in when I send them out for mixing, and my window to make any more radical changes to the shape of this record is rapidly closing. One more recording session, a few more overdubs, some editing (which feels neverending but which I WILL FINISH) and I'll be able to move on to mixing. 

In the meantime I'm going to get out of the studio for a few days later this month for some solo shows. My Furch and I will be appearing at the following gigs: 

Sunday March 24th, Noon – Vibration Studios, Osgoode ON 
Thursday March 28th, 6:00pm – Burdock, Toronto ON (w/Chris Sprake) 
Sunday March 31st, 7:00pm – The Mansion, Kingston ON (w/Graven & Chris Sprake)

 

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