"I said to Hank Williams, how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me, In the Tower of Song"
When Leonard Cohen sang these words, the Tower of Song was a metaphor for the inspiration that flows between songwriters, each toiling away on their own, but connected by their shared craft. Moved by this concept, celebrated BC singer-songwriters Oliver Swain and Glenna Garramone collaborated to produce a project that is a dialogue through song and a tribute to the legendary songwriter. Re-imagining both rare and classic works of Cohen, the duo have crafted a sound that resonates with both longtime Cohen fans and a younger audience.
Tower of Song began as a one-off tribute night for a packed house at Vancouver's The Media Club, and has since grown into an actively touring folk duo. Produced by Garramone, she invited fellow Victoria musician Oliver Swain, and the show gave them the chance to grow their musical chemistry. The two have arranged some of Cohen's timeless songs beautifully, for two voices, banjo, string bass, piano and guitar.
"The tunes are hauntingly lovely. Musically sound. Faithful by being strongly, creatively Cohen, and yet wholly their own."
James N. Porter, Professor Emeritus (Arts), York University
Oliver Swain - Bass, Banjo, Guitar, Vocals
Juno & WCMA nominated Americana Folk Noir musician Oliver Swain spent a dozen years in some of North America's most loved roots bands (Outlaw Social, The Duhks, The Bills) before going solo and releasing In a BIG MACHINE in 2011 to rave reviews, #1 spots on the charts, sold out shows and festival appearances across western Canada. A naturalist musician who was drawn to Louisiana and Appalachia several times to discover the roots of American music for himself, Oliver resides in Victoria, BC where frequent journeys into the rugged BC wilderness fuel his songwriting, singing and playing styles. Performing on Banjo and String Bass, led by tremendous vocal abilities, Oliver's live show has attracted a lot of attention over the years including that of Tamara Kater, Executive Director of Folk Music Canada: "Since I first discovered him in 2008, Oliver Swain has been one of my very favorite artists... an evening spent with Oliver Swain will leave you breathless and joyful." Visit http://www.oliverswain.com
for more info.
Glenna Garramone - Piano, Guitar, Shakers, Vocals
Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, Glenna Garramone is equally at home as a solo artist and in collaboration with a wide range of performers. Recent highlights include mainstage performances at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Vancouver Folk Festival, and Rifflandia, as a member of the band Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long, with whom she co-wrote for their most recent album, Debris (featuring guest Ani DiFranco). With a style somewhere between Keith Jarrett and Joni Mitchell, Glenna Garramone's songwriting earned her Grand prize in the Artswells Songwriting Contest, and the award-winning song "Bear Scat" was featured on CBC Radio's North By Northwest with Sheryl MacKay. Inspired by the geography, inhabitants, and spirit of the places she has lived, from Nunavut to Hawaii, Glenna Garramone crafts "raw, emotional, and utterly captivating" songs (John Threlfall, Monday Magazine), using anything from piano, to guitar, to her tap shoes. She also holds a BFA in Writing from the University of Victoria, with a major in Poetry. Glenna is founder and director of The Pandora Chorus, an indie-pop-rock choir. Visit http://www.glennagarramone.com
for more info.