10 Questions With Don Brownrigg

Don Brownrigg
(photo by Rose Cousins)

Don Brownrigg‘s latest album It Takes All Kinds (to make this world, I find) has received glowing reviews since its release on October 22nd, including one from this site.  The album, which was recorded in Nova Scotia off and on over a two-year span with basically just Brownrigg and award-winning producer Daniel Ledwell, features a nice mix of slow, reflective, somber songs and  upbeat tunes.  The debut single, “Sweet Dream Sleeper” reached #1 on the East Coast Countdown and “Just Breathe” was featured on a recent episode of the TV show Cracked

Brownrigg, who is originally from Codroy Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador, has been touring Canada supporting It Takes All Kinds (to make this world, I find).  He finishes the tour with a show in St. John’s on November 28 (at The Ship) and two shows in Halifax on November 30 and December 1 (at the Bus Stop Theatre). In between his many interviews (for radio and print), Brownrigg took some time for “Ten Questions With…”

1. When did you first decide you wanted to be a musician?

I was very young. I showed an interest in playing piano before I can really remember. My parents got me a very small keyboard when I was little (apt for my size at the time), and I learned ‘Love Me Tender’ by Elvis. I then grew to a keyboard, then a piano. I was a pretty shy kid so singing came as an adult.

2. Who are your biggest musical influences?

This is a very difficult question to answer. I love the melodies of country and folk music. The percussion and drive of rock music. The syllable placement of hip hop, soul, and poetry. It’s hard to pin down specific names.

3.. What is your all-time favourite song/album?

See above. haha. Sorry.

4. It Takes All Kinds is your second album. Your debut album, Wander Songs, was released in 2007. What have you been doing over the last six years?

Getting older! I spent a lot of time on the ‘back end’ of music. I was helping organize shows instead of playing them. Trying to organize really good music instead of making it myself. It’s easy to lose confidence at this.

5. This album has been getting some great reviews. Have you been surprised by the response?

Of course. It’s very nice to read that people are liking the music and each review is special to me. There’s so much good music being made that reviewers are flooded with material.

6. Your song “Just Breathe” was recently featured on an episode of the TV show Cracked. How did that make you feel?

It is quite surreal to hear your own music on a professionally produced screen project. The melding of the two is always an interesting science to me and to have my own song there, well it takes on another level of accomplishment and pride.

7. Ok, tell me. How did you get a Juno Award winner (Rose Cousins) and a Juno Award nominee (Jenn Grant) to sing on your album? This must be every musician’s dream.

I assume it is! Rose and Jenn are close friends. The kinds of friendship that is deeper than professional relationship and rapport. Lots of our time spent hanging out isn’t even music related. That said, I am of course extremely lucky to have these world class voices on my album. Sort of a perfect situation, as far as that’s concerned.

8. What has been your favourite moment of your music career?

Hmmmm. Its hard to look back to find a moment, they’re so short. It would definitely be some live performance. I am at my best and my most comfortable performing. I have had so many magical moments performing.

9. If you could invite any two people to join you on stage or in the studio, who would they be and why?

I’m going to extend the rule and say they’re dead, if that’s okay. It’s still a tough questions. Johnny Cash and Nina Simone.

10. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Still at it!

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