The Cedar Presents
COLIN HAY with Chris Trapper
Sat, November 4, 2017
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
$39, $49, $59
This event is all ages
This show is seated show at Pantages Theater.
Tickets are available online through Ticketmaster (click the "Buy Tickets" button above), by phone 800-982-2787, and in person at the State Theater Box Office, open Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm and Saturday, 12pm – 3pm (no service fees).
Recorded in both Los Angeles and Nashville and mixed by Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White) and Gordon Hammond (Buddy Miller, Don Williams), FIERCE MERCY explores themes of love and loss, mortality, and even the odd UFO sighting, but always with the singular perspective and insightful wit that define Hay’s work. He has created a new classic in his impressive repertoire (this is his 13th solo release), using a palette of pop songcraft, Americana flourishes, and soundtrack-ready strings. FIERCE MERCY is animated by its pensive, honest, and impassioned lyrics, and, Hay adds, by a sense of urgency felt deeply in the song “The Last to Know,” which introduces the album’s title concept of “fierce mercy.”
“When you’re in your 20s, you think you’ve got all the time in the world,” Hay said. “You get older, and you go through a quickening. Everything seems to get faster.”
Using his gift for expressing struggle in a way that resonates with a wide variety of people, he compares this to the messages mankind is getting on a global level: “With the changing weather patterns, or the polar ice caps melting, we’re getting all of these warnings, and a lot of them are incredibly fierce. But they still feel somewhat merciful — they’re not destroying us totally. We’re all being told, ‘Listen, you can still maybe address this, and it won’t get to the point where I have to take you all out. You’ve still got a shot.’”
Ten of the album’s 13 stellar compositions were collaborations with Michael Georgiades, who contributed to Hay’s previous sets Next Year People (2015) Gathering Mercury (2011) and American Sunshine (2009). The pair co-wrote two of the album’s clear stand-outs, the pop vocal ballad “A Thousand Million Reasons” and the Americana leaning “Come Tumblin’ Down.” “Michael Georgiades is my secret weapon but I guess now with this album it’s not a secret anymore,” Hay jokes.
Some of the songs are deeply personal: “She Was the Love of Mine,” is an elegy for the singer’s mother, who died three years ago. Some are novelistic: “Frozen Fields of Snow” recounts the story of a war veteran returning to his childhood home after outliving the other members of his unhappy family. “Sometimes lyrical ideas will come into your head, so you follow them and see where they go,” Hay says.
Largely recorded in Topanga with Hay’s wife, Cecilia Noël and Hay’s regular accompanists — bassist Yosmel Montejo, drummer Charlie Paxson, keyboardists Fred Kron and Jeff Babko, and guitarist/tres player San Miguel Perez— FIERCE MERCY was completed in sessions at Compass Sound Studio in Nashville with Compass Records principal Garry West at the helm, who also contributed bass on a few cuts.
Hay says, “Garry is always trying to get me to Nashville to do some recording, to get me out of the comfort zone of my own studio — get me out of my lair! So I went to Nashville and we recorded the strings with a nine-piece section, and he introduced me to some players that he loves, who added another fantastic layer to the album.”
The Nashville players include guitarists Audley Freed (Sheryl Crow, the Black Crowes, the Dixie Chicks) and Doug Lancio (John Hiatt), pedal steel guitarist and organist Jim Hoke (Iris Dement, Don Henley, Darius Rucker) and Compass co-founder Alison Brown (banjo).
As a singer /songwriter, Chris is most known for his original song THIS TIME, the #1 selling song on the Grammy nominated soundtrack for AUGUST RUSH (Robin Williams, Jonathan Rhys Meyers /Warner Bros Pictures). His music can best be described as lyrically driven roots-pop with a knack for telling everyday stories.
The New York Times has called his work “classic pop perfection.”
710 Hennepin Ave,
Minneapolis, MN, 55403