Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane
Deep from the depths of northern Canada international touring award nominated road poet Gordie Tentrees performs nearly 200 concerts a year in North American, Europe, UK/Ireland & Australia. From Celtic Connections(Glasgow, Scotland) to National Folk Festival (Canberra, AU) this master story teller and multi-instrumentalist holds the audience inside his hands weaving melodic messages while juggling the dark with the light. Unexpected performances hit the stage solo armed with words, acoustic guitar, bottleneck dobro, harmonica, porch board bass and snare tambourine or joined by legendary Canadian sideman/songwriter Jaxon Haldane on musical saw, cigar box guitars, banjo, mandolin and brotherly harmonies. After 6 solo records 2018 brings the release of “GRIT” a duo album with Jaxon Haldane perspired by 550 concerts on stage together since coming together 3 years ago. It was captured over 5 nights in Western Canada with by esteemed engineer Scott Franchuk (Corb Lund, Old Reliable) giving audience members the real deal they feel bearing witness to the magic moments created each night. Songs were written in advance including Haldane/Tentrees co-writes “Armand”, Junior” born from the road, and hilarious Fred Eaglesmith/Tentrees co-write ‘Craft Beards & Man Buns”, as well as cover tunes ‘I Don’t Have a Gun” Wil Kimbrough/Tommy Womack” and “Willie’s Diamond Joe” Willie P Bennett savored by Haldane who claims Bennett as his mentor. Tentrees reels us in with ” Lost” inspired by his wife, ‘Wasted Moments”, ‘No Integrity Man”, “29 Loads of Freight”, “Sideman Blues” bring high end poetry delving into his relationship with the road while the heartfelt “Bottleneck to Wire” touches on the loss of friend to cancer, legendary guitar player Aylie Sparkes. He kills you with humor on “Holy Moly” designed as a mating call from one northern prospect to another. All songs contain one integral ingredient”GRIT”, the ability to overcome adversity.
Gordie was born in Hamilton, Ontario, the product of a colorful broken home raised on a family farm, then bounced around foster home homes finding focus in sport, even becoming a golden glove boxer. From the ring to the stage with stops in between as a school teacher and youth worker, grateful for every moment. “I feel fortunate to have had such unfortunate moments that have enabled me to become who I am on stage, or off, it’s that healthy therapeutic high I was lucky to find” says Tentrees. “I got to write out my past, let go and define my future all through songs”
Not until the age of 24 when he moved to the Yukon did he start writing songs or perform. “I was always comfortable with words in a family of writers/poets that started with my grandmother 70’s west coast poet Rosemary Hollingshead and further enhanced by the stellar songwriting musicians den in Whitehorse. “My evolution with songwriting, guitar, harp playing is directly related to my focus as a boxer, I knew it would take 10,000 hrs to learn finger style guitar much like it took to throw the perfect hook in the ring” He explains. “Breaking down the process into small parts then building it up over endless repetition hooked me on music. Not having that previous experience training to be a fighter I would not have know this and likely quit, but I have no quit, essential for any folk singer today. Being in the ring in front of an audience I was very comfortable performing music right away, the challenge has been learning how to be a musician which will never end for me” states Tentrees.
In the early years Fred Eaglesmith took him on the road to Europe/UK and even a historic tour of Route 66 in the US from Chicago to Santa Monica offering helpful advice and support with an early introduction to the reality of the business of music while encouraging him to make own way. He has since shared the stage with Mary Gauthier, James Cotten, Steve Poltz, Fred Penner, Danny Michel, Blackie & Rodeo Kings and Kelly Joe Phelps studying every sound they made on and off the stage making his own noise. Real music from a very real guy.