Ep. #129: Scott Merritt

Scott Merritt is a very talented songwriter, musician, singer, and producer who lives in Guelph, Ontario. He has been creating and occasionally releasing inventive pop music for close to 35 years and has collaborated with people like Daniel Lanois, Adrian Belew, Willie P. Bennett, and Fred Eaglesmith among others. He also keeps himself busy on other people’s projects in his studio, the Cottage, which might be one reason why he hasn’t released a new album since 2002’s stunning The Detour Home. On Thursday September 11, Scott headlines an Eden Mills Writers’ Festival event dubbed ‘Taste and Transmission’ at the Ebar in Guelph. On his back deck a couple of days ago, Scott and I talked about the Cottage, leaving Brantford for Guelph for his son/my friend John, the Barmitzvah Brothers, ages and grades, John’s Cafe at the top of the stairs, imaginary worlds, banning kids’ music in favour of the music you actually like, Van Morrison, the Beatles, Dean Martin, Ramones, my parents put me in tennis lessons, pie plates and elastic bands, his first musical mentor Stanley, “Foxy Lady” and “Manic Depression” by Jimi Hendrix, fantastical and observational lyrics, strange sounds, if you can say what it is, don’t do it, fussy exploration, my obsession with Wayne Gretzky’s Brantford and sprinklers at the Woolco, Alexander Graham Bell, the manufacturing sector of the 1970s and 1980s, seeing Rush, Max Webster, and Breathless play at his high school, Spalding might’ve made basketballs in Brantford, giving music a try instead of going to school, parental guidance, playing better, garage bands and blood donor clinics, Max Rat, Leo Kottke, the record store in the mall, Bitter Grounds in Kingston and other coffee houses for songwriters, pay or play in Hamilton and a life-changing night, making Desperate Cosmetics, Duke Street Records, labels and DIY hardship, I.R.S. Records and Miles Copeland, making Violet and Black, making Gravity is Mutual with Roma Baran, Adrian Belew’s chaos management in the studio, Scott’s first new album since 2002, which he finished just last Friday, the new song “Everwill” and the idea of a parade that has no beginning or end, and then this podcast with a beginning also has its end.

Related links: maplemusic.com/artists/sco/default.asp edenmillswritersfestival.ca vishkhanna.com

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