Shotgun Jimmie talks about his new album and his recent work in Sackville as part of a Sappyfest residency.
Kate Butler | @Butler2
Shotgun Jimmie is no stranger to the Maritime music scene. Known for crafting undeniably catchy troubadour style pop songs complete with singalong choruses that help make each live performance an unforgettable experience, his eleven year stint as a resident of Sackville New Brunswick has helped him earn honorary East Coast status among many of the region’s finest songwriters.
He recently released his new album, the summer slammer, Fields of Trampolines, and is currently back in his adopted home for a stint of performances that kicked off with a five date residency in St. John’s NL and an eight night run at Sackville’s Thunder and Lightning as part of a residency with Sappyfest. Produced by Joel Plaskett, Field of Trampolines encompasses exactly what summer is about and includes nods to his favourite Canadian bands including The Constantines, Attack in Black and Eric’s Trip whom he notes as great friends. We caught up with Jimmie where he is currently participating in an artist residency in Sackville, NB.
“Field of Trampolines was recorded over just four days in Joel Plaskett’s studio with a band from Manitoba called Human Music,” he said. “We had just done a cross Canada tour together so we were already very in sync musically and it was perfect circumstances with a tight recording timeline to have a group of people I had already worked with. I lived in Sackville, NB for eleven years so I was thrilled and kind of coming off this high from touring and just being so happy and satisfied to be in a place I called home for so many years.”
Field of Trampolines is Jimmie’s seventh release. With three years between records (his last release was 2013’s Everything, Everything) he found he had time to really get an idea where he wanted this record to go. “I had about three years in between album releases so I had a ton of material to work with and take my time choosing what went on this record,” he said.
“Working with Joel was great. I was most surprised by his subtractive approach. Often times when working with a producer they want to add all kinds of things,” said Jimmie. “Joel was the opposite, letting us record a song and then suggesting ‘OK, how about we make this small change or take out these two things?’. That was his way of shaping the song. Those kind of decisions really come from experience.”
Several songs on his new album are tributes to Jimmie’s favourite bands including the track Constantine Believer an ode to The Constantines, and the track Song for Julie, Chris, Rick + Mark to the folks in Eric’s Trip.
“They’re probably less tribute and more love songs I guess,” he said. “And I think I’m in love with those bands on some level and instead of writing love songs about one person, I chose a bunch of people I really admire. Inspiration as a result of infatuation.”
Part of the Sappyfest residency involves bringing a group of artists together for a month in Sackville, NB to write, record and perform together as well as contributing to several other projects within the community.
“I am extremely busy during this residency including hosting an afternoon show on campus radio CHMA, performing each night and also playing with the guest artists, playing a mixture of both their songs and mine and we are doing this in the evenings as well. This includes practicing with each artist. I just got finished practicing with Steve Lambke, tomorrow with Mike Feuerstack and the next day with Julie Doiron. And I’m filming a rock video so I maybe bit off more than I can chew? I’m enjoying engaging with all of the artists and learning from them as they are me, and excited for people to hear what we have all been working on the past few weeks.”
You can catch Shotgun Jimmie on the Sappy Fest Wish You Were Here Tour w/ Steve Lambke, Ian Roy, G.L.A.M. Bats, and Amy Siegel this Thursday May 19th in Wilser’s Room at 8 p.m.
Wish You Were Here tour dates:
May 14 – Sackville, NB @ Thunder & Lightning Ltd.
May 17 – Charlottetown, PEI @ Baba’s Lounge
May 19 – Fredericton, NB @ Wilser’s Room
May 20 – Halifax, NS @ Gus’ Pub
May 21 – Sydney, NS @ St. Patrick’s Church