Nathan Lawr

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Nathan Lawr

On his first solo album, "The Heart Beats A Waltz", this former Royal City drummer debuted his song writing skills to enthusiastic response. It was a spectacular collection of rootsy, heartfelt tunes blistering with desolation and mystery.

On the release of that record, Nathan began performing with his live rock band, The Minotaurs, playing to a sold out room at NXNE as well as touring with the likes of Jim Guthrie and opening for folks like Sarah Harmer and the Arcade Fire. Nathan also staged a performance of the 13 piece group called The Minotaur Orchestra which was recorded by the CBC and released as a limited edition EP. The concert was a bold experiment featuring 12 songs (new songs as well as reconfigured older ones) endowed with shimmering strings and horns.

When it came time to record his next record, rather than repeat his earlier attempts, Nathan decided to tackle a different process. Inspired by Neil Young and the Blue Note jazz of the 60's as well as his experiences with "A Midwinter Night's Dream" (a 5-piece band made up of singing/songwriters who toured last winter as a band and made a 10 song recording, done entirely in one day) and a U.S. tour drumming for the Constantines, Nathan wanted his next album to feel like a series of captured live performances rather than simply a collection of songs. As well, having played most of the instruments on his first record himself, he wanted to let his friends in the Minotaurs add to his ideas.

The result is "Secret Carpentry". Raw and exposed, the live nature of the performances give the songs a strong vibe and vulnerable magic. Nathan enlisted the engineering skills of Andy Magoffin (Royal City, Jim Guthrie, Bryan Borcherdt), Jeff McMurrich (Sea Snakes, Martin Tielli, the Constantines) and Howie Beck (Jason Collett) to attempt to capture musical events as they happened in the studio. Each song on the record appears just as it was when it was being recorded with a minimum of overdubs. "I wanted the record to be bare. I wanted to let the songs be what they are and add only what was absolutely necessary to get the point across," he says, "I didn't want to add things just for the sake of adding them." The strength of these songs are a result of Nathan's growing skills as a writer and performer. This fall, Nathan takes to the road again with "A Midautumn Night's Dream", joining Kate Maki, Dale Murray, Ruth Minnikin and Ryan Bishops on a 30 date tour from coast to coast.

The tour will have extensive publicity in all cities as well as campus, co-op and CBC radio support. There will be a release tour for "Secret Carpentry" in December with extensive publicity as well. There is a pending BravoFact music video application for the song, "Put Your Money".