Folkin’ A

Chris McCluskey hears both folk and punk.

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Since moving on from the more complicated recording processes of her former band The Guthries, internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Ruth Minnikin has been focused on capturing the moment through natural, simpler methods. Her third record, Folk Art, will be recorded over two days, mixed in another and printed in just over one week—this week.

The Guthries “always did albums that took months to make and a long time to produce and all that,” she says. “I was always kind of interested in doing my songs live. So that’s kind of what I’ve been doing.”

For the album, Minnikin has invited some friends she can rely on into the studio. Brother Gabe Minnikin, former Guthries drummer Brian Murray, fellow Heavy Blinker, Dave Christensen and friend Anna Plaskett all appear. Minnikin admits that the project seems daunting, but is excited about the challenge.

“There’s a little bit of pressure, just with the time constraints,” she says. “But there’s a kind of energy we can create in this time frame, from recording, from having to write songs and, you know, giving it to the world.”

Minnikin releases Folk Art on August 15 at The North End Pub.

King Crimson

Hardcore punk act The Crimson Tides’ MySpace is right—there aren’t too many bands who can say they hail from Spryfield. For those interested in knowing what one sounds like, they’ll have a pair of opportunities to catch their debut, self-titled CD release shows on August 9 and 10 at Reflections and Gus’ Pub, respectively.

“We all grew up sort of a 45-minute bus ride outside of Halifax. We would head into town on the weekends whenever we could to check out some shows, but we’re pretty much secluded as far as having a network of bands to hang out with,” says vocalist Adam Bowes. “So we sort of crafted what we knew on our own in the basement.”

A combination of hardcore punk and rap, The Crimson Tides are currently focused on networking while sharing the stage with bands they respect.

“Basically we’re looking right now to play shows with the bands we’ve been trekking in to see,” he says, of playing the CD release shows with local groups including System Shit, Gunt and The Insubordination. “We have sort of a similar enough sound, so we’re hooking up with those guys and showing them how we do our thing.”

Good day for anything

Last week we spoke with Tim MacNeill about how the politics of Guatemala has attracted him to the nation and made it the focus of his Ph.D. studies. His visits to Central America have been artistic as well as academic.

“When I was here two years ago I bought a cheap nylon string guitar at a crazy outside market, put some strings on it and fixed the bridge with red duct tape,” he says. “At the end of the time I had 10 new songs and was able to trade the guitar for five free nights at a hostel.”

You can still expect some of the former Arlibido frontman’s material to surface sooner or later.

“I want to share my music with anyone who will listen,” he says. “Doing a Ph.D. and travelling is rewarding, but I will always be ready to give those things up for as long as I am able to strap on a guitar and play for at least a few people.”

Trade guitars for news: scene@thecoast.ca

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