It is the month of great singers! Tonight the city has the pleasure of experiencing the release of Here We Go Again, the new release from Renee Yoxon and Mark Ferguson. Renee has been forging her own style of singing and more recently songwriting... both of which have unremarkable focus, and she teams up with the well established, lush, and recognizable pianist Mark Ferguson. The album is full of their original music and is on sale today. Not only that, you can go check out the CD release party tonight at the NAC's Fourth Stage.
I had to ask Renee some questions about it and here is what she had to say:
1. Simply put… what is the inspiration behind this project?
Mark and I knew we wanted to make an album about a year ago. We were playing together weekly at a restaurant in Stittsville and that show gave us the opportunity to start writing together. The theme of the album came together after several months of writing. Together we composed about 16 or 17 tunes and paired that down to the 12 on the album.
2. You have a talent for interpreting songs beautifully. I know that you have been writing original material for a while now, have you found yourself going down a certain road musically or thematically?
Yes. Musically, I have been drawn to the "Great American Songbook" style of compositions. Mark was a dream to work with because he really understands that style and was able to infuse my musical ideas with modern harmonic elements while still maintaining the traditional sound. Lyrically, I'm always drawn to themes of love and loss. Here We Go Again is largely about whirlwind romances that touch our lives briefly but leave a big impact. I had a lot of fun writing lyrics to Mark's compositions because his melodies are so singable the lyrics practically spring from the page.
3. I can hear both you and Mark as individuals on this CD, it's really great! What is the creative process collectively like between the two of you?
Working with Mark was a great partnership because our styles and strengths complement each other. Sometimes Mark would present me with a song and I would lyrics for it. Other times I would bring an unfinished song to Mark and he would write a bridge or an ending or whatever it needed to tie the song together. We also wanted to make sure we were presented separately as well as together so some tracks are 100% Mark and others are 100% me.
4. Any good stories from the project/recording/songs?
There's a lot of "you had to be there" type moments from writing/recording. Mark and I spend 80% of our time together killing ourselves laughing and ribbing each other.
5. What's the next step for you as an artist?
I'm not sure. I think I'm going to spend some time out of the spotlight. Mark and I have also discussed touring the album and writing more songs for future work. I definitely need to spend some time in hiding to contemplate what I want to do next.
Ottawa CD Release: Renée Yoxon & Mark Ferguson at NAC Fourth Stage (53 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON)7:30pm, tickets $25, available online, at the NAC box office, or at any of Renée’s other performances