Colin Lake wasn’t born in New Orleans, but you would hardly know it from his rootsy, soulful sound that seems to rise up from the bayous across Louisiana. Listen to the singer-songwriter and slide guitar player’s natural sense of blues, soul and rock and roll and you’ll get the sense that he’s been in the South his whole life. In fact, like so many other musicians that call the city home, Colin Lake found himself drawn to the city’s rich musical culture a handful of years ago when visiting from his native Seattle. It didn’t take long for him to pack up and move on down to New Orleans where he would make a go as a working musician, and in the last few years he has become a fixture of the local scene at festivals, clubs, and opening for acts like Dr. John and Gary Clark Jr.
These days Colin Lake has been hard at work with the Mt. Calvary Sessions, a series of intimate live performances filmed and recorded at an old New Orleans church.
“I’ve been kicking this idea around for a while; to set up in a space that looks and sounds great and capture performances of a handful of songs on really good looking video. These sessions were born from the convergence of that simple idea and some very fortunate timing. When I got wind that friends of mine had purchased an old church in Mid-City, I asked if we could invade for a day. They graciously obliged, and within a few days I was able to enlist the help of my entire band and a few friends, as well as a talented sound engineer and film crew,” says Lake.
Recorded over the course of “one very long day”, Lake and his talented band played everything from “house rockers to intimate, stripped-down performances.” Talking about the material chosen for the session, Lake says, “We did songs from my last two records, as well as a classic number and even a couple of new tunes that will most likely appear on my next album.”
One of those songs is called “Skipjack” and today we are excited to premiere the video for it right here on Glide Magazine. Lake’s uplifting slide playing alongside a horn section and slinky organ make this tune feel positively spiritual. Interestingly enough, despite its distinctly Southern feel, the tune has its roots in the Pacific Northwest.
“‘Skipjack’ is one of my favorite tunes to play with the band. It’s a song I wrote over ten years ago now after a sailing trip in British Columbia with a couple of friends that I’ve known almost all my life. ‘Skipjack’ and ‘Jackscrew’ are the names of two tiny islands in Washington, near the Canadian border. Skipjack is also the name of a fish. Musically, I love the tempo and groove of the tune – laid back and swinging – and tonally it’s right in my wheelhouse. The vocal and lap steel lines can lean bluesy or toward the sunnier side, depending on the day. Lyrically, the tune hits on a few things that we saw along the way – including a pretty serious shipwreck – but mostly it captures the mood of being on the water with no place to be and nobody to report to,” reflects Lake.
One of the coolest parts about the Mt. Calvary Sessions is that they are presented by Glide favorites NOLA Brewing, who you may recall as the first brewery we featured in our column Suds & Sounds. So it is highly recommended that you crack open a cold one, or maybe pour yourself a Sazerac, and watch Colin Lake’s video for “Skipjack”:
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Colin Lake – lap steel guitar, lead vocals
Bill Richards – bass guitar, backing vocals
Marc Adams – organ
Erik Golson – drums
Brad Walker – saxophone
Mark Levron – trumpet
Audio engineered and mixed by Michael Seaman of Listen Up! Studios
Video directed and edited by Sam Radutzky of Abis Productions
Cameras operated by Sam Radutzky and Zac Manuel
Recorded at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, New Orleans, LA
Mt. Calvary Sessions logo by Scott W. Williams