There’s just something so beautiful about a man and his acoustic guitar—is it the simplicity? The single voice and a few strummed chords? Then throw in splashes of other instrumentation and backing vocals, and the entire atmosphere becomes more luscious, something a bit beefier. For singer/songwriter Dan Mangan, his latest outing, Oh Fortune, is steeped in his folk sensibilities—a raspy voice, excellent acoustic guitar strumming and twanging, deft tempo changes. Writing mostly on the road during the past three years, Mangan’s muse was evidently out the window of the touring bus (“Rows of Houses”) and deep inside his soul (“If I Am Dead”). With the help of his stellar touring/studio backing band—Gord Grdina (guitar), Kenton Loewen (drums) and John Walsh (bass)—Mangan and company took the beginnings of Oh Fortune from the road and brought those seeds into the studio; you could almost envision them setting up in the studio’s live room in the same way they would onstage, as there is this wonderful sense of harmony and bleed from instrument to instrument. The album is a wonderful experience from top to bottom, and I’m looking forward to seeing this translate to the stage.
Producers: Colin Stewart, Dan Mangan. Engineer: Stewart with assistance from Tanis Gibbons. Mixing: Stewart. Recording Studios: The Hive (Seattle), The Armoury (Vancouver), National Park Studio. Mastering: Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound (New York City).