Halifax musician Mike Trask is a bit of a wandering soul. Never content to stay in his Halifax home for long, the musician is set to return to Metro Moncton for his second performance in the month of March alone.
His show at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge tonight with New Brunswick’s Owen Steel is one of 12 shows that the duo has or will be performing this month.
Trask is currently on the road promoting Jamboree, a folk-blues record with a sound that is steeped in some of music’s oldest recordings.
Interestingly, the record was made in a very unique manner compared to millions of other records being churned out of studios all over the world every day. Trask recorded his latest effort with only one microphone to capture both his guitar and his vocals. Though the approach may be raw to some, Trask insists it was a deep-rooted desire to get back to the basics of music without the glitz and perfection that has, in Trask’s opinion, helped make much of today’s music stiff in comparison to the past.
“With Jamboree, I didn’t want to over think anything. We basically used one microphone, plugged into an old machine with no computers and no editing,” Trask shares. “There were a lot of great records made in the 1980s and ’90s but I think that a lot of people tried to overcomplicate things while striving for perfection and in doing that, the sound and approach to making records was sacrificed. I find it rather encouraging that you hear of more and more people like Jack White who are interested in getting back to things being simplified.”
Trask says that it was old blues musicians like Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson that inspired him to pursue the manner of recording featured on Jamboree.
“The tone of using one microphone for vocals and guitar was very unique to that era. I always liked the sound of those old blues records so it made sense to go down that route for Jamboree.”
Trask admits that while the sound of Jamboree might not be for everyone, he acknowledges that taking risks in the music business, and it is a business after all, helps to keep him moving forward.
“I think that it is so easy for musicians to get wrapped up in the business side of things. As a musician, I am supposed to be making music and working to promote it. But then people start talking about awards and clamouring to be on top and before long, you can really lose sight of what the point is.
“I believe that the business side of making music has to tie in to making art and working to promote that art,” he says. “If you are not doing those things as a musician, you are not doing your job as far as I am concerned. Few artists ever make any substantial amount of money from record sales so in my books, you have to tour to spread the word about your music.”