How City And Colour’s live album inspired Dallas Green
Dallas Green may already have a new studio album close to completion but he’s reflecting on 12 years under his solo career with City And Colour for new live record Guide Me Back Home. It’s become a testament of creating something positive from a negative time.
“The idea came for a couple of reasons,” he explains to us while home in Toronto. “Specifically, I was watching the American presidential election, just like most of the world and whether you agreed with it or you didn’t, I think everybody was a little bit shocked by how full of madness the whole thing was. And I thought to myself, ‘Do you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to see if I can book a really long tour of my country and go and try and play a lot of small towns and just kind of try and figure stuff out.’”
Accompanied by C&C bandmate Matt Kelly on tenor guitar and keys, Dallas played intimate shows in towns he’d never visited before on the 2017 trek to loyal fans and curious locals. The 20 songs that make up Guide Me Back Home were all taken from different shows and they showcase Dallas’s voice with his Custom Shop D-45 and bespoke small-bodied Martins, an old Kay plus a Bigsby and Filtertron-loaded Gretsch Rancher in stunning intimacy. Deciding to record the shows also had unintended results…
“I don’t want to call it a ‘greatest hits’ but it is almost like a best-of record because it’s not just me playing new songs,” says Dallas. “It’s me as a 38-year-old man playing songs that I wrote when I was 20 years old. So you get to hear this evolution in my voice, and the playing and the songs. It’s become a lot more than what I guess we set out to make it, which was literally just to document it and see what would come of it.”
Dallas was so inspired by the tour he ended up writing what will become City And Colour’s next record, already tracked and due next year. “I had a few new songs but I hadn’t been able to write anything [else] new,” he explains, “I don’t want to say it was writer’s block, I’m not one to force trying to write. When it’s not happening I just kind of let it be and hope it’ll come back around. Doing that tour helped clear my head and open my mind up,” he adds. “Every once in a while you need a reminder of why you’re doing it and what you love about it.”
Guide Me Back Home is out now digitally and on 3 x LP and 2 x CD via Still Records on 23 November