Season's Greetings from Tony
Through my affiliation with Yukon University as a board member, I’m acutely aware of the importance of Canada’s first university north of 60, and its mission to provide greater opportunities for students to be engaged in research and education that’s relevant and unique to the North, while still being immersed in the community. I feel very humbled by my involvement with Yukon University, and as part of that, I’ve had the pleasure of being connected with Gordie Tentrees.
Gordie is an international-touring and award-nominated Canadian musician. He has been immersed in the Indigenous community for many years, and it was when he moved to the Yukon that he began writing songs and performing. As Gordie shares in his personal bio, he “was always comfortable with words in a family of writers/poets that started with my grandmother, ’70s west coast poet Rosemary Hollingshead, and further enhanced by the stellar musicians’ den in Whitehorse.” With eight records to his name, Gordie brings meaningful and powerful storytelling to his music.
His most recent album, Mean Old World, is my holiday gift to you this year. His songs and lyrics are heartfelt, genuine and real. From this page, you can download Gordie’s album. A hardcopy version has also been sent out to each WMS team member.
I hope you enjoy the album as much as I did.
Wishing you and your loved ones all the best this holiday season.
- Tony Maiorino
Gordie Tentrees' new record "Mean Old World"
Mean Old World explores the path of Gordie Tentrees from foster child to foster parent in songs like Rosetta, Every Child and the title track Mean Old World. Gordie spent time in the social service system before growing up to be a school teacher and youth worker, then coming back full circle as a foster parent to an indigenous child. Wind Walker is inspired by close friends who found each other while leading reconciliation by example. Gordie’s days as a five-time Golden Glove boxer are recounted in Ring Speed. His gratitude rises in Far Away Friends, a tribute recognizing all those special off-the-stage hosts who supported him in his 2,500-plus concerts around the world. Further experiences in foreign countries pursuing record deals roll tongue-in-cheek throughout Danke. The learning gained from supporting a childhood friend through the last stages of cancer is presented in Train is Gone. Two best friends who break the mold once a year by adventuring together, leaving their domestic partners to muddle through, are featured in Lefties. Twice as Nice lets us know that the grass is never greener.
"Majestic songwriting, genuine authenticity, incredible insight"
- Americana , UK
International touring award nominated Canadian Gordie Tentrees has arrived. This authentic road poet travels North America, Europe, Australia, UK & Ireland with 8 records behind him either solo or with legendary sideman Jaxon Haldane (famed Winnipeg band-D-Rangers) never repeating himself on stage. From Celtic Connections (Glasgow, Scotland) to the National Folk Festival (Canberra, AU) his ability to hold an audience, weave melody, while juggling the dark with the light is infectious. Performed 750 concerts in 11 countries during the past 4 years armed with 10 instruments, brotherly harmonies and masterful storytelling. Influenced by touring with friends Fred Eaglesmith, Mary Gauthier, Steve Poltz & Kelly Joe Phelps, Tentrees is just getting started.
This recording is best listened to as a whole project. Each song is a treasure, beautifully sung, great instrumentation, wonderful production, fantastic lyrics, yet fitting together as a whole. Gordie has always had muscle and confidence in his music, but this project represents increased nuance and depth. The works reveal wit and poignancy. The work inspires the hero in us; it inspires courage, boldness, honour, strength, and confidence. Gordie reminds us that there are hardships but change is possible. He is helped by a score of artistic collaborators including members of the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, an internationally renowned Inland Tlingit performance group based out of Whitehorse, Yukon.
Mean Old World explores humour, truth, reconciliation, abandonment, glory, love, affection, danger, safety, fighting, fleeing, winning and losing. The call to action is to get up, get your toque on, pursue a red feather kiss, but don’t forget about the compost and recycling.