Wooden Castles Fall
Canadian indie roots guitarist, singer, and songwriter Trevor Tchir (pronounced 'cheer') unites the sounds and images of rural and urban spaces. His music tells stories of the people who work and love in the pulsing cities and austere hinterlands of North America. His influences include The Rheostatics, Bill Bourne, Leonard Cohen, J.J. Cale, Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, Neil Young, Ron Sexsmith and The Band. Tchir's brand new release, 'Wooden Castles Fall,' crosses a spectrum of folk-country laced with pedal-steel and Rhodes organ, horn-driven shuffles, and bar room ballads. It was recorded with the help of many of Ottawa's finest young musicians, mostly regulars of the popular Nostalgica Café hootenanny, which Tchir hosted from 2001-2004. Characters on this record include Ukrainian-Canadian moonshine brewers circa 1917, Canmore Hotel barflies asking Queen Lizzy on the old twenty bill for romantic advice, Parliament Peace Tower elevator operators, Alberta grain elevator peace operators, Great Lake princesses, and Athabasca valley dreamers. On his last album, 'November' (2001), Tchir's acoustic fingerpicking is complemented by the funky Rhodes and Hammond organ of Pierre Chrétien (SoulJazz Orchestra), the lead guitar of Chris Lochner, and the harmonies of Ottawa singer-songwriters Peter Webb, Mary Kate Haché (Jacob Two-Two), and Julie Larocque. Tchir's songs on 'November' center on themes of devotion, ecological responsibility, and the place of spirituality in an increasingly scientific and technologically geared society. Tchir's first release, 'The Way I Feel Today' (1999), was recorded live-to-tape with just voice, acoustic guitar and harmonica, with songs exploring the importance of home, the vagaries of young love, and the vastness of the Canadian landscape. Biography: Trevor Tchir was born in St. Albert, Alberta, and grew up loving Ukrainian-Canadian food, the open air of the prairies, the imposing Rocky Mountains, and the music at Edmonton Folk Festival and North Country Fair. It was at these festivals that Tchir began to appreciate acoustic roots music, especially that which told a story. It was also here that Tchir first heard Bill Bourne, an Albertan folk legend who would influence Tchir's views on music and later teach him a few things on the six-string. Tchir left Alberta at age 17 to spend a year working in the House of Commons, where he got a behind-the-scenes look at Canadian political theatre. In 1997, he began playing regularly at Sandy Hill's Dunvegan Pub, where he would meet musical friends Bill Barnes, Peter Webb, Pierre Chrétien, Chris Lochner, and poet K.L. McKay. These were years of fruitful creative collaboration, spawning Tchir's first release, The Way I Feel Today, recorded in March 1999 by Webb in his Nelson Street basement studio-apartment. Tchir continued to play local Ottawa Valley venues such as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Black Sheep Inn, Cajun Attic, National Library Auditorium, and the Ottawa Tulip Festival, sharing the stage with acts like Drums and Tuba, Garnet Rogers, Jacob Two-Two, Richard Wood, Emm Gryner, Julie Larocque, Peter Webb, and Purple. In June 2001, Tchir released his second full-length album, November, a collection of songs that found shape at Dunvegan shows and that features many of the venue's musical patrons. During his years in Ottawa, Trevor often returned to his Western home, playing with groups like Five O'Clock Charlie, a band featuring his brother Stephen Tchir on guitar. In September, 2001, after the closure of the Dunvegan, Tchir began playing at the new poetry and musical open stage at Café Nostalgica, on the University of Ottawa campus. He soon became the evening's music coordinator along side poetry hostess K.L. McKay. Every Thursday night for three years, Tchir played and hosted the popular event which featured talents from Ottawa and beyond. In September, 2003, on the second anniversary of the open stage, Nostalgica recorded a live collection of music and poetry: Thursday Heroes - Live at Café Nostalgica. During his tenure as host of Nostalgica, Trevor completed his Master's in Political Philosophy, focusing on the cultural theory of the influential Canadian writer, Charles Taylor. He continued to play regularly around Ottawa, backed by Webb and members of the funk-jazz fusion band SoulJazz Orchestra. In the summer of 2004, Tchir returned to Edmonton, where he began a PhD at the University of Alberta in Political Philosophy and Canadian Politics. His third release, Wooden Castles Fall, was released in February, 2005.