Meredith Shaw in Oshawa June 8
OSHAWA -- A jingle? A single? No a tringle, a three for one. Trouble is a three-track EP recently released by Toronto singer/songwriter Meredith Shaw, who is playing Oshawa's Thirsty Monk on June 8...
OSHAWA -- Singer/songwriter Meredith Shaw performs in Oshawa on June 8.
OSHAWA -- A jingle? A single? No a tringle, a three for one. Trouble is a three-track EP recently released by Toronto singer/songwriter Meredith Shaw, who is playing Oshawa's Thirsty Monk on June 8.
And who better to produce than Mr. 333 Joel Plaskett, who released a three-disc album titled Three. Plaskett and Shaw have collaborated on this new EP, the first in a series. The next one is to be produced by The Trews' John Angus McDonald.
"I think you have to be smart as an artist and know how you are going to get to the next whatever and I think right now it's important to release music a little more consistently, to not wait as long," Shaw says in a phone interview. "Usually an album is over a couple of years. I didn't want to wait because I'm writing a lot and meeting a lot of creative people. My favourite thing is to have great relationships with creative people and mash them all up because that's where all the best stuff comes from."
"Instead of releasing a full album or just one (song) ... we came up with this three songs every three months for a year where I would work with guest producers, so the first one was with Joel. Then John Angus, do another three, which will probably come out in the fall.
"I met Joel through touring with Big Sugar. I am a huge fan and when I knew that I would get to meet him I was very excited but tried to keep my cool. Now, on the other side of having worked with him, he's a friend and we text each other silly little things. He's a huge talent."
The tringle is the follow-up to her debut album, A Place Called Happy, which was produced by Gord Johnson of Big Sugar.
Growing up in Toronto, Shaw was surrounded by its very vibrant music scene. But she says it is a double-edged sword.
"It was nice to start playing music and go out to open mic nights," she says. "There were a bunch of them; there was more access to that. It's great because you don't have to make that 'move to Toronto' but you're also starting in the big pond. You don't have that hometown worth. There's more of a sense of community elsewhere."
Shaw took the opportunity to go to those elsewheres and she has worked and lived in Nashville, L.A., Austin and Halifax. Last year she travelled across Canada by train with Kori Kameda, who is performing with her at the Thirsty Monk.
"I was lucky enough to travel end to end with Big Sugar the year before and seeing the country via bus from east to west," Shaw says. "But there's nothing like taking the train. You get to see a whole heart of the landscape you would never see if you didn't take that particular track. There was great community on the train, people from all over the world. We did concerts and they sang along. It was the first place we ever played Trouble; going through the mountains. I texted Joel Plaskett right away, 'I think they love our song'. I love VIA Rail and I plan on doing it again out east. It was a great opportunity."
Opportunity does knock occasionally and when she does, it's best to be prepared. Shaw works diligently at her songwriting.
"The more I identify as a writer, the more I write all the time," she says. "It's a practice and I do it daily. But the real craft of it is what you do with those little bits of magic that are given to you from somewhere."
Somewhere, elsewhere and now here, Shaw opens for The Patrick Dorie Band.
Watch the 'Trouble' video.
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