Back in 2012, Jerry Vandiver, a Nashville-based singer and songwriter, sent me a copy of True And Deep – Songs for the Heart of the Paddler. I was instantly hooked by the canoe country inspired songs. Jerry has followed up the first album with another one filled with tunes inspired by the canoe lifestyle and the northwoods. While the last one hit home for me, because much of it was inspired by trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) and several entry points to the BWCA are just 20 minutes from my backdoor, this one hits home even more — it has a song about the town I live just 10 minutes from, Grand Marais. I’ll have to say that I’m hooked again.
This album feels a little different than the last one. It feels more romantic and sentimental. It’s almost as if the last album was about adventure and the fun you have when you go on a canoe adventure, and this one is about what happens if you adventure in the same place many times — you fall in love with it. To describe the difference, this album feels more like Jerry has adopted the canoe lifestyle as a core part of his being instead of just something he did as a getaway. It feels more spiritual in a way that you feel when you wake up before sunrise to a mirror-calm wilderness lake that has fog drifting across it and then you notice the bald eagle in the dead tree on the adjacent island looking at the same scene that you’re looking at. And many of the songs on the album evoke that feeling. The ones that don’t remind you that canoeing in the wilderness is indeed adventure and you better not get lulled into a sense of false security by those mirror-calm mornings.
I really enjoyed this album and it feels like a great followup to True and Deep — Songs for the Heart of the Paddler. If you liked the last album, you’ll love this one, too.
Get it here: Jerry Vandiver’s Paddlesongs
Every Scratch Tells a Story Song Samples
- My Wilderness Journey
- Uphill Both Ways
- In Grand Marais
- Me and Molly
- I Will Never Let Anything Bad Happen To You
- One Lucky Man
- A Bad Day On The Water
- Birch, Cedar, Spruce
- In The Rain (instrumental)
- The Light Of The Crescent Moon
Highlight Video from Canoecopia 2014
Notice of Material Disclosure: Jerry sent me a DVD of his album to check out and see what I thought. I’m also shooting some pictures of couples in Grand Marais for a video that he’ll release later in the year. If you come to Grand Marais this summer, are a couple and want to be in a music video, let me know and we’ll try to make it work out. Plus, you’ll get a free download card of the album if you take part in the music video project.