Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:04

New album a different experience for Corinne Newton

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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Corinne Newton has already produced two albums, but the creation of her new album was a different experience.


Her third album, Chasing Butterflies, was released in December. She recorded and produced the first two albums on her own, but this time she took a more collaborative approach.
She is following her musical dreams while living on a farm at Central Butte with her husband and two young children.
“Music is basically a hobby for me because we farm out here and there’s not a whole lot of time to delve into making a career out of it now,” she said. “I’ve done the other two just at home in my studio when I had time, and this time I’ve pursued it a little bit further and I got a little bit more help for it.”
She worked with fellow musician Mark Penner, who operates South Hill Studio near Herbert.
“In that way you get a little more input on stuff,” she said. “When you mix your tracks, you kind of lose track of where you’re going and what it sounds like. … He did all the mixing for me, and then I had a few friends of mine also to record on it too. So they brought a different feel to it with their ideas.”
The new album is in the same style as her previous two recordings and her focus has remained on writing songs about life on the prairies.
“So as far as the topics and the songwriting, it’s all still me,” she said. “It’s the same kind of style, but I think I’ve advanced a little bit more with it.”
She grew up on the family farm near Strathclair in Manitoba and has been living with her husband on the Central Butte farm since 2004.
“I pride myself in the songwriting and I write about what I know,” she said. “I lived on the prairies all my life and that’s what I know the most about, and that’s what my songs are about. It’s about living a rural life.”
She enjoyed working with Penner on the new album. He was involved with the technical production of the 10 tracks, but also played various instruments and provided background vocals.
“It’s nice to have a friend like that,” she said. “We’re both on the same page and we bounced ideas back and forth. … I did a lot of the recording just in my own home studio and I could e-mail him the tracks and then he put it all together. That’s kind of neat — the technology just makes anything possible now.”
Other artists on the album are Michael Tetrault of Herbert on drums, Swift Current’s Glenna Switzer on keyboard and Vern Michaels of Rosetown on guitar.
Myshel Pajuaar, who used to be with the Midnight Roses in Swift Current, did background vocals on the album’s title song.
“What makes it really cool too is on Chasing Butterflies I took my laptop back to Manitoba and I got my dad to record some guitar on it,” Newton said.
Her cousin played harmonica and did background vocals on another track. Newton performs with her daughter on the song Just Be Friends. A few years ago it was the winning entry in a song contest of the Just Be Friends organization. Her daughter was six years old when this track was recorded.
She was inspired to write the song Chasing Butterflies after watching her children playing in the yard and she felt it would be a nice title for the album.
“I’m in my forties now, and you just want to sometimes flip a switch and head back to when you had no worries in the world and would chase butterflies,” she said. “I’ve got kids that are seven and eight now, and just watching them run around the yard — they’ve got not a worry in the world and just to be like that again, just to be able to chase butterflies.”
She wrote all the songs on the album and she enjoys the creative process, but it is not always easy to find time to focus on songwriting.
“The house is a little noisier than it was once upon a time and when you get an inspiration, it’s harder to just escape and write it all down,” she said. “At the same time with the technology, when I’m in the car I’ll just talk into my phone and record what I’m thinking about and then it’s there and then I can go back to it later. It doesn’t seem that I can actually sit down and write a complete song at once, just for time wise these days, but once you get on a roll it’s sometimes easy to get it going.”
The songs on her debut album Wave were initially recorded for family members only before it was released in 2010. It was remastered and released again with a bonus track in 2013. Her second album Party Line was released in 2013.
She feels the production of the new album is a real progression when compared with the previous two recordings.
“There’s a professionalism about this one, just the quality of it and everything put together,” she said. “It’s really overwhelming to be that proud of something. I think it sounds really good.”
The album is available online on iTunes and CD Baby. CD copies of the album can also be ordered through Newton’s website at http://corinnenewton.ca/.

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