Trisha Gagnon is a Canadian singer-songwriter whose bluegrass-inspired work reaches far past the genre's signature subjects of heartbreak and loneliness. The Juno Award nominee's reverent yet playful songs have the power to refresh the soul through artful depictions of the things she finds most inspiring: landscape, family, and the divine. With world-class upright bass skills, a poet's command of language, and a voice dubbed "irresistible" by Sing Out!, Trisha has made a name for herself playing in acclaimed bluegrass bands Tumbleweed and John Reischman and the Jaybirds.
Trisha's musical journey was set in motion during her honeymoon when she and her husband heard bluegrass gospel music for the first time. At that moment she did not play an instrument, but her attraction to the music led her to attend a bluegrass festival where she says it was "seeing people play music and sing together in that style that made me want to try and do it too." She soon became involved with the Pacific Heritage and Bluegrass Society in Vancouver, and joined together with Chris Stevens, Michael Heiden and her sister, Cathy-Anne McClintock, to form Tumbleweed. Trisha began to play upright bass with the band and found it was exactly the right fit for her. The group went on to be voted "Best Bluegrass Band" by the British Columbia Country Music Association for nine consecutive years. Trisha was then handpicked by John Reischman to join his band and now, after nearly ten years and four albums with the Jaybirds, Trisha is set to release her first solo album.
Fans who are familiar with Gagnon's trademark optimistic and respectful songs—such as her lively original, "The Jaybird Song," which was nominated as the Just Plain Folks Bluegrass Song of the Year in 2009—will be happy to know that Gagnon's originals are the focus of her debut solo album "A Story About You And Me."
One standout track on the album is "On My Way to You," Trisha's duet with Vince Gill. Trisha wrote the song upon returning home after a lengthy road trip with The Jaybirds. In it she offers listeners the perfume of spring lilacs and the palpable chill of British Columbia winter, truly transporting her audience to another place, another state of mind. The song is emblematic of Gagnon's poetic sensibility and profound connection to her home, B.C.'s Fraser River Valley. In this song as well as others on the album, Trisha carries her listener to places of beauty, places of longing, places of wonder. Given close inspection, there is one thing that becomes clear about all of Trisha's work: no matter where the songs might transport us, they all spring from one single source, and that is a place of great peace.
"A Story About You and Me" will be released in Fall of 2010, an appropriate season for Trisha's fresh new role as solo artist. After her years of touring with the Jaybirds—a life she finds entirely satisfying—Gagnon recently realized she had amassed a collection of original compositions in need of a home. This realization happened about the same time that Trisha's singer-songwriter sister, Cathy Anne McClintock, fulfilled the dream of recording a solo album. Seeing her sister achieve this dream inspired Gagnon to set about making her own record. Many musical friends lent their talents to the project, which features collaborations with award-winning musicians from the bluegrass, American roots, and country music worlds.
The core of "A Story About You and Me" was recorded at Music Hill, the Crockett, California studio of fellow Jaybird band mate, Jim Nunally. Each of The Jaybirds lends his instrumental and, in some cases, vocal skills to the effort: Greg Spatz on fiddle, Nick Hornbuckle on banjo, John Reishchman on mandolin, and Jim Nunally on guitar. The album also features collaborations with notable musicians including Shaun Cromwell, Tony Furtado, Rob Ickes, Vince Gill, Chris Jones, Laurie Lewis, Roger Gillespie, Keith Little, Kathy Kallick, Peter Rowan, and Cathy-Anne McClintock, with whom Gagnon sings one-of-a-kind sibling harmonies.
The careful listener might be able to pick out traces of Trisha's musical influences on this album—she says "growing up I listened to my Mom's music: Elvis, The Supremes, Carole King." Later the songs of Led Zepplin, Mahalia Jackson, and Bonnie Raitt spoke to her. When she finally came to bluegrass, she says it was Vince Gill, Tony Rice, The Stanley Brothers, The Good 'Ol Persons, Tim O'Brien, Alison Krauss, Peter Rowan and Laurie Lewis who most inspired her. "A Story About You and Me" sees Gagnon working alongside so many of her heroes, a gift for which she is truly grateful.
When she is not in the studio or on tour as the lone "bird" in John Reischman and the Jaybirds, Trisha can be found tending the acreage of her organic berry farm. The homemade jams she makes from her harvested berries are exceptional and available—when in supply—at her concerts. Trisha also tends to her hometown and the greater bluegrass community by teaching voice and instrument lessons at home and at music camps. She loves to share all she's learned with her students in order to help inspire them to follow their own dreams.
Gagnon acknowledges the great support she has received from her band mates and collaborators on this project and throughout her career. She is especially grateful for the loving encouragement and friendship her husband Eddy has presented her with to follow her dreams for the past 26 years. She is thankful to have so many blessings in her life and is quick to say that with the Lord's guidance and grace, this musical journey continues to be such a gift.
John Reischman and the Jaybirds TheJaybirds.com
Cathy Anne CathyAnneMcclintock.com
Micheal Heiden HeidenInstruments.ca
Jim Nunally JimNunally.com
Greg Spatz GregorySpatz.com
John Reishchman JohnReischman.com
Shaun Cromwell ShaunCromwell.com
Rob Ickes RobIckes.com
Kathy Kallick KathyKallick.com
Laurie Lewis LaurieLewis.com
Peter Rowan Peter-Rowan.com
Chris Jones ChrisJonesMusic.com
Tony Furtado TonyFurtado.com
Vince Gill VinceGill.com
Song Catalog SongCatalog.com