Great Lake Swimmers is a Canadian band built around the melodic folk rock songs of singer and songwriter Tony Dekker. Originally from Wainfleet, Ontario, the band is currently based in Toronto. The current touring line-up includes Tony Dekker on lead vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica, Erik Arnesen on banjo, electric guitar and harmonium, Joshua Van Tassel on drums, Bret Higgins on upright bass and Miranda Mulholland on violin and backing vocals.
At the time of its recording, Great Lake Swimmers had just put the finishing touches on Lost Channels, and they booked the Legion Pub to road-test the material in front of a small audience. The result is a warts and all album, at times more reminiscent of a bootleg than a polished concert recording, with moments of hesitation bumping their heads against inspired performances. The bandmates are obviously new to the material, and the songs sound a bit dry without Andy Magoffin’s reverb-heavy production.
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Great Lake Swimmers play up their rustic charm on The Legion Sessions, a live album that features many of the songs from their 2010 offering Lost Channels. Recorded at the Royal Canadian Legion Pub (apparently a northern hot spot of some renown), and the songs invoke the friendliness and familiarity of a tight-knit artistic community. There is perhaps no setting more ideal for hearing these songs, but they’re not bad secondhand, either
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