This album was recorded live off the floor at Thorpe’s Organic Produce in Millgrove, ON. It was captured in the living room of the century old farmhouse with producer Chris Bartos playing standup bass. The recording was a three day process: Day 1 consisted of set-up, Day 2 troubleshooting, and finally Day 3 resulted in the recording of 16 tracks each performed in a single take.
Decisions were made in the listening room and 16 recordings were trimmed down to 12 tracks. In between each is a layered nature sound that Piper collected live on the farm. These sounds were taken at different times of the day and help build the narrative of the album itself. ‘Piper & Carson’ is a 12-track story detailing a day in the life; Wolf Song swings us into gear early in the morning around 3am, by mid to late afternoon it is time for a much needed break, Save Some For Yourself, and Dream Last Night represents the mind once we’ve fallen asleep. As the last note rings out, the cycle begins again.
The album plays with our experience of time. It taps into the parallels of cycles: days, weeks, months, years, and lifetimes; when days feel long but go by quickly, when months feel like years, and when as we age, years feel like childhood days. In particular this album is a reflection of Piper and Carson’s last few years together. It is a full experience and one is encouraged to listen to it start to finish. Fashioned like a flowing tide these tracks weave a seamless story of life and death, compassion, taking action, and honouring ancestors.
“The Harmonies in tandem with Carson Ritcey-Thorpe were spot on and Hayes went in search of the vulnerability and the hope in the songs, burnishing them to a shine via her forceful vocals and from the gut lyrics.”
– Lenny Stout, Cashbox Canada
A combination of Melanie Safka meets Alanis Morrisette with writing reminiscent of the Barenaked Ladies
The Civil Wars
“I can only hope these songs resonate with others the way they always did with my mum. She was always there singing along at every show and is why this album came into being. When Cancer raged through her body she asked Carson and I over and over to play In My Bones and Save Some For Yourself. I still have her text saved saying ‘Your music yesterday healed my soul’. I have seen her spark in many others along our road and hope to keep seeing it. The way we feel when we get to share our stories is powerful, unique and healing. This album is a representation of how Carson and I choose to live.”
– Piper Hayes
Born in New York, raised in Toronto, and now residing in Hamilton since 2015, critically acclaimed folk/roots singer, songwriter and social activist Piper Hayes is truly authentic. On December 8, 2017, Hayes released her debut full-length album ‘Piper & Carson.’
Nowadays, Hayes (who is a two-time nominee for the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, 2017 and 2018) performs and writes closely with her partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe and, after a 2017 western Canada tour, many prime showcases at Folk Music Ontario, Folk Alliance International and South East Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), they have become beloved darlings of the folk music scene.
“the new collaboration retains strains of Hayes’ core musical shades from her previous work but this time out focuses on the roots and folk to let songs shine in all their rustic glory.” – Ric Taylor, VIEW Magazine cover story, December 7, 2017.
‘Piper & Carson’ will be available at shows, via Hayes’ website, Bandcamp, iTunes and more. The album was recorded live off the floor at Thorpe’s Organic Produce farm in Millgrove, ON (near Hamilton) in the summer of 2017. It was captured in the living room of the century-old Ritcey-Thorpe family farmhouse, with Toronto multi-instrumentalist Chris Bartos as producer (Kaia Kater, The Barr Brothers, Jonathan Byrd). It features Piper Hayes (lead vocal, rhythm guitar), Carson Ritcey-Thorpe (vocal, lead guitar), Kevin Neal (pedal steel), Leah Ritcey-Thorpe (back-up vocals) and Chris Bartos (upright bass, piano, electric and acoustic violin, electric guitar, Moog, vocals).
The first single “For All We Know” is about the celebration of life and death. Hayes states, “Seize the moment! To live fully we must embrace life’s unknowns, because for all we know…we only get one chance.”
Hayes got her start in legendary venues in Toronto including The Horseshoe Tavern, The Rivoli and The Cameron House (playing with artists including Abigail Lapell, Julian Taylor and Kevin Hearn). She has toured all over Canada and the USA, headlined three international tours (visiting Nepal, India, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, England, Iceland, Denmark, Italy, France, Spain and Greece), performed many times on VIA Rail’s national ‘Artists on Board’ program and played many folk conferences.
Piper also teams up with the Canadian Mental Health Association (going into schools, conferences and outreach programs to dispel stigma around mental illness), she established a music-therapy-based class for Hamilton Adult Community Support Program and gives workshops on mental health, well-being, music and songwriting.
Previously, Hayes has released her Danny Garcia produced ‘Live in NYC’ in 2013, her Mike Schlosser produced debut EP ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Like…’ in 2014 and her acclaimed 2016 EP ‘Goodbye Mister Nice Guy’ (“we couldn’t keep it off our charts” – Rachel Connell, CFMU FM).
‘Piper & Carson’ reflects the couple’s last few years together, and it comes complete with lyrics and a detailed booklet insert, which includes stunning images taken at the farm by renowned Toronto photographer Lisa MacIntosh. “Carson’s sister Leah did a whimsical drawing of us as two lil’ manatee merpeople. I liked it so much, we used the caricatures for the album cover. I love when albums are a complete experience and I would like ‘Piper & Carson’ to grab people with not only the music, but also with the total artistic package,” says Hayes.
Fashioned like a flowing tide, these tracks weave a seamless story of life and death, compassion, kindness, standing up for what one believes, action and honouring ancestors. ‘Piper & Carson’ is also dedicated in loving memory to Piper’s mother Maggie Thompson Hayes, who passed away suddenly one year ago on November 25, 2016.
Artist Statement: Hayes states, “I am overjoyed and incredibly proud to release this piece of work to the world. This entire experience is different because three years ago I met Carson Ritcey-Thorpe. We began performing, dating and eventually writing together. We love making music together and ‘Piper & Carson’ reflects the life we’ve built. It is a collection of intentioned songs that are popular at our live shows, songs to heal and songs to remember.”
Send Piper an e-mail
Whether it’s regarding a performance, an appearance, a collaboration, or to simply connect, Piper would love to hear from you.
Piper Hayes: firstname.lastname@example.org