1) Recording it old school!: For her new 2012 release “Best Dress” Collette got together with her rhythm section (Adam Warner and Brian Kobayakowa) and her partner producer John Zytaruk and spent three days recording as a group in a small Toronto church (St Matthius). Why is this so unique? Well, in this world of over-produced, digitally perfected recording, it is a rarity to get a group of musicians together in a real space to record an actual performance of a song. This album is a true "record" of a performance in a place and a time. There are no click tracks and all the lead vocals you hear on the record are the ones that Collette sang with the musicians in the church. The album was expertly recorded by Joe Mancuso a veteran respected sound engineer who learned his craft  in Toronto's most legendary studios. This style of recording follows in the footsteps of other great Canadian artists like the Cowboy Junkies, The Arcade Fire and The Great Lake Swimmers who recognize that there is nothing like a natural acoustic space to add warmth and atmosphere to a recording.  

2) We're Not Broke: In November of 2012 a New York documentary film-maker discovered Collette's music online and contacted her. This led to Collette writing an original song for a documentary on corporate tax evasion and the economic effects this has on all of us. Subsequently they added "Quarter Life Crisis" a cut from her 2008 release ZEN BOYFRIEND to the film which touches on the sentiments that are fueling the "Occupy" movement around the world. It premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in January of 2012. Go to Collette's blog entry here to get the full story: http://www.collettesavard.com/blog.html/how_i_got_a_song_placed_in_a_documentary/

3) Bob Wiseman and The Tranzac Club: For over a year Collette Savard has had a monthly residency at Toronto's Tranzac Club. Although officially the Tranzac is the non-profit home of Toronto's Australian and New Zealander's club, it has also gained a great reputation as a place where artists gather to perform and network with each other. It houses the Toronto Zine library, the Blocks Recording Club and has hosted several stage plays. Most notably however is the high caliber of the musical acts which grace it's multiple stages. Acts that range from roots and bluegrass to avant-garde jazz. It's here where Bob Wiseman, respected artist, composer, playwright, producer (and former keyboardist for Blue Rodeo) wandered into one of Collette's performances. After bonding over their shared love of Warren Zevon, Bob agreed to add his talents to Collette's album. As a matter of convenience, they decided to use the Tranzac's old and slightly out of tune piano for the parts. In order to accommodate everyone's schedule they snuck into the Tranzac's Southern Cross lounge at 1am and Bob laid down stunning piano parts for two songs on the album (“Thousands Of Days” and “Blue Minor”) he later recorded an additional organ part on “Thousands Of Days.” The result of his playing on this album is truly magical. Collette continues her residency at the Tranzac where she is known for creating an audience participatory experience where her fans are encouraged to make drawings based on simple themes and are rewarded with C.R.A.P. (Collette's Really Awesome Prizes) which consist of the most absurd items she finds in thrift and dollar stores. She also never disappoints with her music. In addition to her accomplished songwriting, Collette and her partner John Zytaruk weave a beautiful soundscape together using up to ten instruments (not all at once!) which include unique pairings such as Appalachian dulcimer and dobro. If you're really lucky, you may also wander in on an evening when Mr. Wiseman sits in to add his flair at the keys.  

4) I just made it up!: There is no doubt that Collette is an incredibly unique artist. In a music scene where the acoustic guitar is king, Collette delights audiences with her use of less common instruments like the Appalachian dulcimer and the ukulele. The beautiful and intricate parts she creates on these, as well as banjo and acoustic guitar, are reason enough to take notice of her but there is a whimsical surprise behind her talent as well: she just makes it all up. When Collette was a pre-teen her brother-in-law, a bluegrass multi-instrumentalist, taught her three guitar chords G, C and D and there you have the extent of Collette's formal training. Although many a great career has been made on the basis of those three chords, Collette did not rest on her laurels! Very quickly she realized that her musical palette was only limited by the size of her imagination- which was vast indeed. Following her intuition and her keen sense of melody she creates songs with fascinating and complex chords and time signatures. This intuitive style is reminiscent of Canadian legend Joni Mitchell but just as with Joni, she is a complete original. Accomplished musicians such as great Canadian jazz artists, Guido Basso and Richard Underhill have taken note of her talent for it's complexity and sophistication, as much as the traditional folk music listener has embraced her for her genuine and melodic simplicity.

5) All you need is love: ten years ago John Zytaruk walked into a North Bay Ontario flower shop looking for a job to support him while he built a career in music. Little did he know that it was there he would meet his musical future. It wasn't long before John discovered that Collette, a fellow employee, was not only beautiful but also a talented songwriter. John asserts that it was love at first sight, however it wasn't until she played him song after song from her already significant catalogue of originals that he knew this relationship was to be an artistic one as well. This May-December relationship blossomed quickly. In fact, at one of their very first performances at a local open mic night, a man approached John to ask him if he and his wife would like to play a local festival. The couple moved to Toronto in 2001 where they began to build a repertoire and a reputation on the Toronto scene as a talented duo. Although they perform under Collette's name and play mostly her original songs, there is no doubt that they are an inseparable musical pair. John's beautiful interweaving parts and sweet harmonies are integral to their sound. Their relationship adds a warm and often comical air to their stage show as John ever the doting husband and "straight man," becomes the focus of Collette's wry sense of humour. He is Sonny to her Cher so to speak. It is all in good fun however, as the audience is well aware of the couple's love for each other and of the years they have spent making independent records in their home. Just them against the sometimes turbulent world of professional music! The two were finally married in Bonfield ON in August of 2010 in a field of wild flowers on Collette's aunt and uncle’s farm. Collette used her custom engagement ukulele, dubbed, within the Toronto uke community, as "The Lovelele" to sing her vows in the form of an original song title "Beyond The Blue".

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Collette Savard: Best Dress


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