The third Bloomistry album, Late Bloom, was recorded from January 4 to March 31, 2007 and released on August 28—14 months after its predecessor, Ca Marche. In the coming 14 months, there would be three more albums worth of new Bloomistry material. This was the “bloom” to which the title referred.
As the preceeding suggests, this would be the most autobiographical of the early Bloomistry records. The opening track, Late Bloom, rehearses the project’s background: “It started years ago, in a basement in our town.” It was the 1980s, the town was St. Catharines, and I was in a band called The Shade, hauling a Fender Dual Showman amp head that my cousin Al had integrated into a customized maple cabinet. (The song mentions a Fender Twin, but my Showman was just as back-breaking all the same). The next track, When Time Was on Fire, recalls the same period. Come Down Easy takes an ironic and self-deprecating look at the musical aspirations of those days: “Your face/Never on a magazine/You never made the hipster scene.” This is rock and roll seen from my 42-year-old perspective.
I asked my friend Ken McClelland to do the piano overdubs. We were in The Shade together, and it meant a lot to me that this nostalgia album of mine would have him on it. I felt like I was doing with Bloomistry what I’d been unable to do with The Shade: find my voice and my own writing style. “Oh well—better late than never” was the basic philosophy of this record.
(Ken’s parts were recorded on Sunday, March 4, 2007. That’s him playing the organ and piano on the songs Late Bloom, When Time Was on Fire, and Walk On. I especially love the piano at the end of When Time Was on Fire: so, so simple, and yet I can’t imagine the song without it.)
All of the Bloomistry albums were recorded in my basement home studio, often between midnight and 3 am, at very low cost, with me playing all the instruments, unless otherwise noted. Bloomistry albums are all lo-fi (I actually consider them demos and hope to re-record the better songs one day with a professional studio band) but with Late Bloom the production took a step forward.
It was also at this time that I performed the songs live for the first time, in a pub called The Manx. It would be over a year before I formed a band, with Ottawa musicians Dmitri Koev, Terry Calder and Scott Terry (on drums, later replaced by Simon Meilleur). But the band never recorded, even though that was my eventual plan: all the albums were solo projects, made in the same Hull, Quebec basement studio.
Late Bloom was mixed on April 14–15, 2007 by engineer Dave Draves (who also overdubbed, while mixing, the Vox organ on Hook and Eye and the Mellotron vibraphone on Interstate) and released on August 28.
1. Late Bloom
2. When Time Was On Fire
3. Come Down Easy
4. Walk On
5. Left Behind
6. Sault Ste Marie
7. Hook and Eye
8. Bone Club