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Danyluk & Card

"...the sweetest voices in all of roots music ..."

It has been five years since Cory Danyluk and Sarah Card released their Jaybird album and set about taking the songs found on that disc to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Five long years has resulted in a number of adventures for the acoustic duo that is based out of Edmonton Alberta. In that time the two can attest to much time being spent on touring and woodshedding, as well as reflecting on, and setting new courses for their music that shakes out a collection of sounds that might have permeated the walls of a decades old prairie community hall.

Whether it’s a verse from a Danyluk-pennned cracked country ballad where a solitary lyric gives way to a sweeping and bluesey fiddle line from Card or songs shaded with glimpses of hope and determination, Card and Danyluk have created a warm, sobering and alluring sound that draws on west of centre country, blues, and folk traditions.

With the release of Too Much to Dream, this longtime tandem has refined the elements so many listeners, radio programmers, promoters and venue operators began to appreciate in the early nineties when Danyluk and Card started appearing at coffee houses, small intimate theatres and festivals around western Canada.

Working with a team that adds bursts of sympathetic embellishments and an understanding of the vision of the two was imperative as Danyluk and Card headed into this latest round of sessions that began mid-way through 2007.

Behind the soundboards were individuals like Scott Franchuk (Old Reliable, Carolyn Mark, Wendy McNeil, Corb Lund) and Colin Lay who has been the sonic maestro behind recordings for Bill Bourne, the Great Western Orchestra and The McDades.

“The process was different that what we maybe expected when we started to cut tracks but by the time everything was pieced together the overall sound matched or exceeded our expectations,” says Card whos harmony and accompanying vocals play a more predominant role in songs like One Day Revolution, Woebegone, Diamonds Under Glass, and How Long ‘Til Mercy.

The eleven-song collection features sweet and at times stark and never heavy-handed arrangements that allow Danyluk’s observations, visions, and images to breathe and make immediate connections with their audience.

Frameworks draw on splashes and strokes from the pointed sounds of the dobro and steel guitar, as well as hand percussion and understated bass lines. Of course Card’s stunning violin/fiddle playing alternately skates and shimmers across her partner’s songs.

“You can hear that the musicians we worked with were very sympathetic players,” says Card with a satisfied smile. Danyluk feels his current approach to songwriter is a “devolution of sorts.”

“I’ve learned to trim things down, simplify them. They are all simple in terms of structure, but dense in terms of what is going on in the lyric,” says Danyluk who admires Texas greats like Guy Clark and the late Townes Van Zandt.

“The songs are more direct that the material on the last album but I still love using symbolism and metaphors,” adds the tall tunesmith who came out of the Alberta alt. country scene of the nineties.

Longtime fans of the Canadian roots scene, who may have listened to Frazier and DeBolt in the seventies or newcomers who found their way into the deep Canadian pool of roots music talent via a more contemporary artist like Kathleen Edwards will find many touchstones on this latest recording from Danyluk and Card, as the two provide another link in what is a very sturdy chain.

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