He ain't no tomcat 7/11 or second hand mews!
Local cool cat Craig flat out with first album
by Thomas Cormier
Craig Cormier is a longtime musician and resident of Riverview Park. He recently sat down to talk about the making of his first album, Bodega Cats.
Why did you finally make an album?
I’ve been working on songs for years but could never bring all the differing styles and influences together into a cohesive album. Although I’ve grown up with pop and rock music as my main interests, I’ve also had strong Maritime and Celtic influences that I thought would always be the focus. Over the past number of years, I’ve been writing more rock and punk-sounding tunes with the band Waterbömber, but I also had a bunch of songs that were more traditional and required a different approach. I wasn’t really sure what to do with these songs but I knew I needed to record them. So in January of this year I took some time off from my regular day job to begin the recording process. Once I got underway, I found these and the newer songs I was composing kept getting pulled towards the influences of Django Reinhardt, Stephan Grappelli and Allison Krauss. The maritime and pop influences will al-ways remain, but the end result was definitely a more jazz and bluegrass oriented album.
Who was involved in making the record?
The entire album was written, performed, recorded, mixed and produced by me here in Riverview Park. I had a bit of help from Gilles Gaudet (who just moved away from the neighbourhood) with some of his awesome drum work on the track “Chairman of the Board”. As well, some backing vocals were done by two other lads on “Les Habitants”. I used all the instruments I could find around the house and managed to record it on an old computer. My original intention was to try to be as acoustic as possible and to avoid
anything electronic. Although I was largely successful in doing this for much of the project, when it comes down to it I’m an electric guitarist and just couldn’t resist it on a few tracks.
Why the title: Bodega Cats?
I was about two thirds of the way through recording the album when I came across this picture of my son with a cat named Herman from a bodega we visited in East Side Manhattan. When I was a university student on Prince Edward Island, I used to work in a convenience store which, of course, has many similarities to a New York bodega (minus the cat unfortunately). I have worked a number of jobs in my life, but I have many fond memories of working there as it was a great place to see all these folks from your community passing through. Also, it was a picture that was taken the night after we had celebrated my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Since this album is dedicated to them and all the sup-port they’ve given me, I thought the picture had connection to them as well. After a bit of consideration, I realized that this image would help shape the completion of the album. I don’t think my son cares for being in the photo on the album cover but frankly he’s filling in for the bodega cat from PEI who took the picture.
Where can you find the album?
You can find a copy of my CD at Compact Music in the Glebe (785 Bank Street). If you don’t feel like leaving your home these days, it can also be downloaded from bandcamp (https://craigcormier.bandcamp.com/releases). If you want to know more about me you can always visit my website at www.craigcormier.com. I would like to do a launch of the record, so watch for announcements on Facebook.