Peter Graham is releasing his first full-length album this month entitled Despite Where We’ve Been.
It’s a collection of alternative folk and country songs featuring strong vocals and concise lyrics supported by the collective efforts of established musicians.
His first EP entitled Nowhere in Tacoma released in 2017, received airplay across Canada and the UK. It was released after he won the grand prize in a song writing contest in 2016 hosted by Radio Airplay and described as a “mature and promising debut” for the artist by Americana UK.
The new album opens with what could be seen as a pandemic song called Fireworks and Liquor, describing the struggle to hold the course in the face of a barrage of bad news. The chorus is a testament to perseverance and hopefulness even in the face of absurdity, as the artist encourages himself, saying “if I don’t bend, if I don’t break, there could be purpose in all that I gave.” Peterborough’s Electric City Magazine described the album as featuring “Peter Graham’s calm, confident and emotive vocals (that) shine in confessional songs about separation and loss.”
Born and raised in Cavan, Graham currently works and resides in Toronto, but this particular record has very local roots. Eight of the ten tracks were recorded in a home in the new Millbrook subdivision over a weekend in January, before the expression “social distancing” became part of our vocabulary. It was an intense but satisfying experience for Peter and the three professional musicians who have been collaborating and performing with him over the last two years. As it turns out, the decision to record in January was fortuitous, as the window to perform as a group evaporated shortly thereafter. Studio performances by established musicians round out the sound on several selections and include a string quartet, while a volunteer choir recorded in Bailieboro backs up the final track.
In normal times, the band would be introducing the album through performances in venues primarily in Toronto such as the Cameron House, the Dakota Tavern and Wenona Lodge, where Peter co-hosts a weekly songwriter event. However, the band’s favourite shows have taken place locally, at the Mount Pleasant Women’s Institute and the Millbrook Legion, where last fall they delivered a fundraising performance in support of Millbrook Community Care.
Featuring ballads, country and indie rock sounds, this new release examines personal struggles with an attitude of hope and acceptance. The album will be released on November 23rd and can be pre-ordered from the band website at www.petergrahamband.com. Copies of the CD are currently available at local retailers including The Valley Shoppe. Congratulations, we look forward to hearing the band deliver a live music performance. KG