Kendall Partington is one of my most favourite entertainers in the community. I have dropped by a many Village establishment over the years, just to relax with a drink while Kendall got on the keyboard, and even joined in with other patrons in singing along. So, when Kendall told me that he is gearing to finally release a debut album (I have been saying for years that he should) I was very excited to see what will come out of that.

The good news is, it is a whole lot of magic. I have listened to several demo tracks, and I can say this album would be something I would take with me on a nature or cottage trip, for evening listening by the fireplace with a glass of good wine.

Why did you finally decide to do this?

Good question. Okay, I promise on the other questions I won’t be this long winded but it takes a lot of context to understand my feelings on why being a recording artist never really looked like an attainable goal post of glory. I have had people ask me many times over the years “How come you don’t have any CD’s to sell? Don’t you want to promote your own material? What do you mean you don’t want fame?”. I’ve always been a bit of an odd duck in that way. I wasn’t fighting a personal crusade to prove myself to the world or anyone else that “I had talent” or was worth something”. So, why did I do it now? It felt right. I had everything flow to a very natural hiatus state, I was taking care of health and personal issues. Then things settled down. In 2017, I felt like a new man. I had totaled up to 25 years of live performing and making a living at it. So, I came to what felt like a true milestone, and my parents were hashing out the idea with my producer on the album Hal Bruce while watching me do a random gig down east while visiting. They had somehow gotten on the topic and it just took hold and it was the right time to approach me. It was like creating my own gold watch.

How Did the name come about?

I can answer this easily because I just recently broke it down on my musician’s page.
My mother guided me through all of the early days of my career leading by example. I sing a song in tribute to her called My star that I wrote in dedication and back to back on this album sing a duet with her that sums up (in the Greek familial love sense), how we feel. We need each other by our side whether near or far, afraid, or alone. My father I tip my hat to by rerecording the one special never truly brought to life sleeping giant of a song about the mystery of Oak Island, and I end up mysteriously coinciding with the two perfect people with their individual talents and inspiration to complete the Triumvirate Trio that culminates my milestone of 25 years of performing by creating this completely rudderless project that mysteriously but magically was born and is now not only a milestone, but a watermark. I think that pretty much sums it up folks. There you are. The full inner meaning behind the title inspiration.

Where did you record this?

Moustache Music. A comfy little studio through a maze behind a TD bank on Quinpool Road in Halifax. We did the bed tracks of 17 songs in 4 and a half days and then Hal fine-tuned and added some very special touches. My mother was just coming down with the flu at the time and luckily I had her in the studio one of the sessions that I grabbed her quickly for recording “By My Side” which is a song by Lorrie Morgan and Jon Randall. We have been singing it as a signature duet together for many years now. She still has one of the best preserved voices I have ever heard from a 73 year old lady.

How did you select the songs?

THIS was difficult! I was trying to be sure I had not only a sense of theme, but also a good compilation that would be covering the favourites of so many people that came to see me regularly at my gigs. There were certain absolutes that I would have been crucified for if I didn’t include them. Independence Day by Martina McBride being one good example. Desperado by the Eagles (or Linda Ronstadt in my case…I heard her version first because my mother owned her Greatest Hits album.). I let the title guide me a little because It truly came to me in that weird intuitive way that you know is artistically accurate. It’s the sixth sense of an artist zoning in on something special they are trying to channel. So, the songs reflect a sense of my roots, a recollection and connection of wistful wishes one could return sometimes to some transforming and moving on forward tracks.

Your mom is a big influence in your music and career. She’s a Performer, right?

My mother Cathy who was Cathy MacNeil before marrying my father much later was the lead singer in a trio that was made up of my dad playing on the guitar and his best friend Wayne Fader. She has imparted a great deal of musical direction by leading through example especially. She had to prod me relentlessly to sing for people because I was painfully shy. But I would eventually break out of it and then I wouldn’t shut up.

What kind of stuff will be happening at the launch, what date, when and where?

I just firmed up a couple of things in relation to that. It will be June 25th, from 2pm until 8pm and it will be at The legendary HORSESHOE TAVERN – 370 Queen Street West. To start off it’s an easy day to remember…it’s on Pride Sunday smack dab in the part of the day the parade begins and ends. I didn’t plan it that way and was convinced it was on a different Sunday that year. So, hey if you want to get out of the crowd and do something different come join us. I also just confirmed my parents are now going to make it up for the event so there is a pretty high probability that I will be able to coerce her to join me on stage for a reprise of the album version. I will be playing the album throughout the day. Also have some guest performers possibly planned as additions because I am going to be out mingling with people for a lot of the time so I can sign the album and talk to them about it. I rarely had a chance to have in depth conversations with people at the clubs because I kept my breaks short. Here there will be a different format because it is a special event. Oh and the CD artwork and design will be an early privately assigned special release only sold at this CD release and the one planned in Nova Scotia. So there will be VERY limited quantities.

How will we be able to get the album?

After the release, I will arrange to get all of the tracks available for digital download on all of the major places like iTunes and Spotify. I am readying a song (or possibly two…) that I planned originally on having out online over a month ago as a teaser to purchase early. I am rushing to still do this but it’s going to be a two week away period now. However, I plan on offering a discount off the album that saves anyone $2.00 off the entire album which is retailing at 19.00 (+ HST). They will be able to get it for 17.00 and they have the early digital download. Was hoping for the longer lead in but the mysteries of online royalties and licensing proved to be very time consuming.

I am genuinely looking forward to this event and I’m massively proud of the album. I truly didn’t expect it to turn out sounding as good as it did and that’s a very rare thing for me to say. I’m usually the harshest critic regarding my own music and my voice but I have little choice but to give myself at least an A on this project. Thank you Antoine for the interview. I’ve been a little out of touch on the scene. Hugs and best to you and everyone at theBUZZ!

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About the Author

Antoine Elhashem is the owner of Inspired Media Inc (www.inspiredmediainc.com)

Publisher of:
theBUZZ (www.thebuzzmag.ca)
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Pink Pages Directory (www.thepinkpagesdirectory.com)
Local Biz (www.thelocalbizmagazine.ca)