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MUSIC REVIEW (Live)
Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers) & Carolyn Mark
Live taping for CBC Radio Fuse

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Label: CBC Date: Tuesday November 29, 2005


CBC Radio 1's show Fuse has been renewed for a second season this year and this show featuring Tony Dekker (a.k.a. Great Lake Swimmers) and Carolyn Mark of Vinaigrettes and solo fame was the first taping. The show is performed live in front of a studio audience but then edited and tweaked for playback on the radio later in the year. This allows a certain spontaneity while also allowing the artists to redo songs in which they made significant mistakes or are otherwise unhappy with.

This episode's pairing pitted Carolyn Mark of BC with Ontario's Tony Dekker who records under the Great Lake Swimmers moniker. Dekker's almost-painful shyness gradually melted away during the evening as Mark's sense of humour warmed up both their collaboration and the crowd.

As is standard fare for the Fuse format, host Amanda Putz alternated interviewing each guest then allowed them to play songs of their own and a few covers. Considering Dekker and Mark had only met that day, they pulled off their collaboration with remarkable fluidity and only a few flubs. Mark's strong, classic voice combined with Dekker's soft crooning very well while each accompanied the other on their songs and sang backups. Mark played piano on most of Dekker's songs, adding another dimension altogether, while Dekker tried to keep a straight face singing some of the lines as a duet in Mark's "Baby Don't Come Over".

The two combined beautifully in Dekker's "I Will Never See The Sun", a homage to the subway stops on his way to work, from his debut album. Covers included "Slept All Afternoon" a Jr. Gone Wild song selected by Mark (and dear to this author, having played it live close to a thousand times in Jimmy George), while Dekker chose a Tom Waits song. Other song performed included Mark's "You're Not A Whore If No One Is Paying" and Dekker's "Let's Trade Skins", taken from his new album.

Between the songs Putz questioned the guests on their inspirations and methods, and extracted many a witty anecdote from each of them once they loosened up and settled into their respective grooves.

Although the air date has not been set, the show will appear on CBC Radio 1 likely in January. Upcoming tapings include Colin Linden and Alana Levandoski, and tapings will be done across Canada in coming months. Check the CBC site for details.

Also mentioned at this taping was the possibility of releasing some of the shows on CD, which would certainly be a great opportunity for those who couldn't attend in person. Past shows have included collaborations between Jim Bryson and Lynn Miles, Gentleman Reg, Andy Kim, and Danny Michel, Feist and Kathleen Edwards, and many others, so the CD's would be a varied offering sure to show some artists in a new light.

Steve Donnelly Email WWW

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