David Baxter: Day & Age Bio
David Baxter is a lifer. Journeyman guitarist, award winning songwriter and producer, he has been writing, performing and producing music since childhood. His first gig was conducting the Kindergarten Rhythm Band at a PTA meeting. He has been a professional since 1975, receiving his first break as a member of legendary Toronto band David Wilcox and the Teddy Bears. He was married to singer Sherry Kean with whom he shared considerable success , (and a JUNO award) in the 1980’s. He collaborates still with country singer Lori Yates, a partnership that dates back to 1990. He has produced 3 albums for peerless Canadian songwriter Bob Snider. Other productions include records with Yates, Justin Rutledge, Northern Pikes, Treasa Levasseur, The Undesirables, Penny Lang, Michael Laderoute, and a number of others. He won a Juno with Kean, and had seen Juno nominations for Snider and Rutledge albums. He tours as guitarist with Yates, Rutledge and Levasseur. His guitar can be heard weekly on the soundtrack to CTV series, Degrassi: the Next Generation, and on many records as a sideman.
Day & Age is, however, Baxter’s debut album as a singer. In a career of working with great voices, he had always left that job to the experts. “I was politely encouraged to stick to the guitar,” says Baxter, “but I always wrote songs, as a collaborator.” He and Yates saw a translation of one of their songs reach #1 in Quebec, and a Kean co-write was named country song of the year by the CMPA. “Besides music, the one thing I’ve spent a lifetime doing is trying to get a relationship right. Day & Age is a collection of songs about that. About two years ago, my mother passed away, and I suffered a very painful breakup. In the aftermath, I put together my studio, Knob & Tube, found a great old Martin guitar, and I was writing simple, broken-hearted country songs. I love those traditional forms. They’re so trustworthy. Ranging from 2 months to 20 years old, these songs seemed to hang together as a group” says Baxter. “I set out to make a Willie Nelson record, basically, but had to make do with the singer I had. It’s a sad record, but it’s true.” The album is all-acoustic, which may surprise some who are familiar with Baxter’s signature electric guitar style. “It’s how I play and sing at home,” he says.
The band on Day & Age consists of Baxter, Justin Ruteldge, Treasa Levasseur, and Creaking Tree String Quartet bassist Brian Kobayakawa, live off the floor. “We recorded very quickly. We didn’t even wear headphones. I added a few overdubs later, but only a few.” Guests include Ron Sexsmith, Lori Yates, Catherine MacLellan, Jenn Grant, Paul Reddick, Old Man Luedecke, Burke Carroll, and Soozi Schlanger, of Swamperella. “It wasn’t easy to finally step up to the mic, but these are my friends, and I’d worked with all of them already”, says Baxter. “It was a very supportive environment for a “ new” singer.”
Day & Age was produced and engineered by Baxter at Knob & Tube in Toronto, and mixed by long-time friend Harvey Goldberg , chief audio engineer at Late Show with David Letterman, at the Meat Locker in New York. Peter Moore of the E Room in Toronto handled the mastering. The album features cover art by Bob Snider.
Day & Age will be released in November 2008 with tour dates to be announced.
Roots & Folk
2008 - Present
David Gavan Baxter vocals, guitar, mandolin
justin rutledge guitar, harmonica, vocals
treasa levasseur piano, accordion, vocals
brian kobayakawa bass
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2. I Had To Believe My Eyes
3. If I Could See the Future
4. marching into glory
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