Photo: Val Boulet
BY SOUTHGREY STAFF –
On his Facebook page, local musician Jayden Grahlman lists himself as a "guitar/uke/Music teacher" but the Grey County native will have to add acclaimed songwriter and recording artist to his resumé as he launches his very first studio album Diving In with a release party on June 28 at Heartwood Hall in Owen Sound.
In development for approximately six months, Grahlman's project was financed with the help of nearly 100 backers on indiegogo.com, raising approximately $4,500 to help cover the costs of studio time, musicians, graphic designers and printing. The resulting CD is a soulful nine-track effort that shows off the range and talent that he has developed over the course of his career as musician and songwriter.
"I want to thank the Indiegogo.com contributors and all who pre-ordered an album," said Grahlman, who went on to include "Craig Smith, Neil and D at Mad River Studios, my inner circle and everyone who contributed to the making of this record."
Grahlman added, "Thanks to Val Boulet for artwork and design and Bryan Canning for edits."
Jayden cut his teeth performing at many local venues over the last 10 years, bringing his own brand of blues, folk and pop to appreciative audiences in Owen Sound, Collingwood, Thornbury and Meaford since the age of 14. With this recording, he now seems ready to take on the rest of the world.
Grahlman enlisted the help of many accomplished musicians to see this project to completion. The CD opens with a very addictive track called Magnet, a song that could easily find a home on any local blues-pop station and features some amazing electric guitar work by Grahlman himself.
The Juno award-winning prowess of blues pianist Tyler Yarema is especially noticeable on the second selection title track, Diving In. But the upbeat tempo and pop vibe is picked up again in Can’t Wait to Kiss Your Face which includes a melodic rap that’s as good as any I’ve heard. Drew McIvor lends his keyboard excellence to this track.
The harmonious voices of Mwansa Mwansa and Sherie Marshal, members of the Toronto-based blues group Delta Sugar are revealed on many tunes but come through noticeably on Give Thanks, a gentle song complimented by Grahlman's haunting lap steel guitar. Grahlman provides his own harmonies on Fishbowl World, a finger-snapping, toe-tapping tune that’s sure to leave a smile on your face.
Drummer Adam Bowman and bassist Tyler Wagler are added to the list of professionals putting their distinctive marks on the album. Fellow Crow Bar & Variety performer Craig Smith also lent his talents as producer to the project and played drums on three tracks.
"My hopes for the CD are to send it as far as it can go and let as many people hear it as we can," said Grahlman, who hopes to play it for Ontario festival-goers this summer and move outward from there.
In You Got the Power, Grahlman talks about harnessing the power within yourself to face the challenges ahead. “Like a butterfly in a chrysalis waiting on his wings to bloom,” we think Grahlman may have harnessed a little something himself. If Diving In gets the attention it deserves, we can all say, “we knew him when.”
Diving In can be purchased at Heartwood Hall CD release party on June 28 and will be available on all web platforms following that date. You can also follow Jayden on Facebook.
Jayden has put together a stellar band for the night of his album release. Tickets for the Diving In release party at Heartwood Hall in Owen Sound on June 28 are $25 each and available on the Heartwood Hall website.
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