- Dean Thiessen
The Cole Patenaude Band "Are You Happy Now?"
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
Hello friends and family,
Thank you to everyone who takes time out of their day to read my posts. Sharing my music on stage is such a huge part of my life but I also really enjoy sharing the behind-the-scenes details of what a working musician looks like. I have had the privilege of working on some really exciting composition and arranging project since my last post that have kept me really busy at the piano here at home. Today, I want to share some information about something that I did quite a while ago with my great friend: guitarist and songwriter, Cole Patenaude.
It was a snowy February last year when Cole Patenaude, Carson Tworow, Derek Maroney, and myself spent five amazing days at Afterlife Studios recording our first full-length album. This is a very historic studio in Vancouver where Diana Ross, the Supremes, and Led Zeppelin have recorded (to name a few). With the infamous John Raham as our trusty recording engineer we were destined for a magical week of music making.
Prior to recording this new record (which i will talk about more in a bit) the Cole Patenaude Band had been together with this personnel for about 3 years. Both Carson Tworow on Drums and Derek Maroney on Bass are friends of mine from Capilano University and we all play together in a few different ensembles now and then. I met Cole Patenaude in a round about kind of way... Cindy (my wife) was one of Courtney's (Cole's wife) bride's maids because Cindy is Alanna's (Courtney's sister) best friend. Got it? Good.
Cole's song writing is unlike anything I've heard before. His range of music spans from soul-crushing ballads to face-melting guitar solos. Such a diverse output of music is held together by a sincere thread of humility, kindness, and honesty. Hailing from Horsefly, BC, a small town north of Williams Lake, the Patenaude family is an icon of BC and Canadian folk music. A celebration of which happens every year at Arts On the Fly, a weekend long music festival held in the little town of Horsefly and largely produced by the Patenuade family. This year's festival would have been this coming weekend (July 17th - 19th) but I was cancelled due to COVID-19. Two years ago at Art's On the Fly the Cole Patenaude band released a 5 song EP called "Wonderful".
We did a little music video for the title track. Give it a listen! If you like this song you'll love the EP which is available for purchase on the band website. :)
The EP was met with rave reviews and pushed Cole and the rest of us to the challenge of recording a full-length record. And a couple years later... here it is!
"Are You Happy Now" is an incredible collection of Cole's songs and, as the cover art would have you believe, this record is a wild, wild ride. Recording is usually a pretty stressful situation since what ever you play is going to be burned onto a few hundred plastic discs and downloaded countless times (hopefully...). But the biggest thing I remember about this week is that I don't think I, or any of us, stopped having fun the whole time. Any issue we ran into was just dealt with and fixed in such a loving and supportive way that made the whole experience feel like a big comfy couch.
Besides playing piano on this record I am also playing organ. This was actually my first time playing a real Hammond organ (C-3) and it was a dream. I have a little Roland VK-7 organ at home which does the trick but, man, there is nothing like the real thing. Also, I had the amazing privilege of writing horn parts for 3 of the songs featuring my great friends Rory Hislop on trumpet, Gavin Grochowski on Tenor Sax, and Cam Henderson on Trombone. As some of you might know I've been writing horn parts as a sort of passion project with my band "Local Motion" for a long time. But it felt great to finally put those skills of mine to work on someone else's music and record it!
The record is set to come out on July 24th. If you go to the band's FaceBook page --- https://www.facebook.com/colepatenaudeband --- you can enter to win an "Are You Happy Now" prize pack. Just follow the instructions on the post at the top of the page. We so wished we could have done a live release show but since that can't happen please support the Cole Patenaude band by buying this album on July 24th! Now I will leave you with a short teaser of the first track of the new album. "Letchugo"
Please continue to support local musicians by purchasing albums, going to live shows, watching live streams, and sharing content on social media.