The Six String Nation Guitar is comprised of over 60 pieces from Canada’s diverse history and heritage.
Upcoming Record Release: September 18, 2020
A decorated artist with international acclaim, Leask has been dubbed “the most consistent Canadian songwriting competition winner” by Songwriters Magazine, having won in numerous contests including USA and International Songwriting Competitions. He was also a runner-up in the John Lennon 70th Birthday Song Contest.
The first record to follow his 2018 release, “Six in 6/8”, “Voyageur in Song” was written and recorded on a uniquely Canadian instrument – the Six String Nation guitar nicknamed Voyageur – built from over 64 pieces of natural, indigenous, oral, recorded and contemporary history from every province and territory in Canada. These pieces include fragments of wood from one of Wayne Grezky’s hockey sticks, Canada’s Parliament, John Ware’s cabin, Nova Scotia’s Pier 21, Nancy Greene’s Olympic ski, and dozens more historical elements. The strap and case also contain numerous Canadian historical items, such as Col. Chris Hadfield’s mission patch, Karin Kain’s tutu, and pieces from Gord Downie’s final tour wardrobe.
Four years in the making, “Voyageur in Song” is a record that honours both the pain and the beauty in Canada’s history, highlighting Leask’s poignant songwriting and vocals with original songs inspired by the stories built into the guitar. After crossing paths with the guitar’s creator, Toronto author, speaker, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster, Jowi Taylor, Taylor offered the guitar to Leask to experiment with. Noting that he “had no idea what was going to happen” when he held the “priceless, guitar”, every musical idea Leask heard in the writing sessions became a song.
From honouring the mythic and tragic story of the sacred Golden Spruce of Haida Gwaii in “Against the Grain” to telling the story of a Mi’kmaq father and fisherman from Lennox Island, P.E.I. in “The Legend of Joe Labobe”, the record is a musical journey across the country, introducing listeners to people and places that reveal the story of Canada through fresh eyes and ears. Also included are stories from coastal Labrador, rural Saskatchewan and Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall.
The record’s feature track, “Les Chansons Du Voyageur” was written as tribute to the guitar and all its diverse and conflicting pieces of Canadian history and culture from coast to coast. “The piece of wood from Louis Riel’s school lives in the guitar right across from the wood from Sir John A. MacDonald’s sideboard.” Whether percussion, bass, lead or rhythm guitar, the musicians on the track each played their parts on Voyageur, creating a unique, full-bodied sound – another noteworthy aspect to an already remarkable project.
The album was recorded with numerous veteran Canadian musicians including Justin Abedin (Jacksoul, Nelly Furtado), Gary Craig (Bruce Cockburn, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings) and Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk).
“Voyageur In Song” will be available everywhere on September 18, 2020.