THE AL PURDY SONGBOOK is a benefit album of music inspired by the life, words and landscapes of poet Al Purdy. Now a work-in-progress, the album will be composed of tracks composed and recorded by Canadian songwriters and musicians. Proceeds from the record, which will be sold on CD and online, will go to support the Al Purdy A-Frame Association program to restore Al’s historic home in Ontario’s Prince Edward County as a writers’ residency.
Artists who have so far volunteered to contribute to the Songbook include Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn, Sarah Harmer, Gord Downie, Greg Keelor, Jann Arden, Snowblink, Felicity Williams, Jason Collett, Michelle MacAdorey, Margaret Atwood and the Sadies. And the list is still growing.
Most of the tracks for the The Al Purdy Songbook have been recorded, and tracks by half a dozen participating artists (Bruce Cockburn, Sarah Harmer, Greg Keelor, Doug Paisley, Snowblink, Felicity Williams) are featured in Al Purdy Was Here. Production and financing of the album put on hold as our energies were absorbed by the completion of the film. And a PledgeMusic crowd-funding campaign—mounted with the help of Aubrey Winfield, Jody Colero and Jason Gileno of the Orange Lounge—has been suspended. Now the Songbook‘s production is being rebooted. Its executive-producers are in discussions with a record label, and aiming to release the Songbook as part of a multi-platform project to be launched in late 2016 or early 2017. Stay tuned for further details.