am a deer in the
headlights/ I am fish on a hook
a boat out of water/ I’m a car up on blocks
just one half of the scissors/ I’m a cut among the rest
have no notions of grandeur/ I am provincial at best.
Puddington is one of Almonte, Ontario’s golden sons, and he wears
the legacy proudly. Rural Canadiana seeps into his songs, bringing
the curious beauty of rivers, wildlife, rosaries and trains.
Especially rivers and trains, for Puddington’s Canada is two worlds
joined by river and railway. While his sensibilities are firmly
rooted in Ottawa Valley soil, maritime themes in songs like “Deer
in the Headlights” and “Footprints” hint at Puddington’s ties
to Canada’s east coast.
a sense, Adam Puddington has a foot planted in each place, shaping
music that winds its way from Ontario’s Mississippi River to the
Atlantic Ocean. As he sings in “St. Lawrence”: “I’m on my
way, tires on pavement, gravel on bone/ the beaten path, rivers and
bridges, field and lakes.” This singer-songwriter is both
freshfaced and worldworn, telling stories of all-too-certain trials
and occasional grace. His craft is wholly original, and warmly
familiar. Within his songs, Adam can lead us from grief to a
tentative redemption. His warm vocals and stark vulnerability
unsettle cynicism, startling us into the possibilities of song.
on the east coast to attend university, Adam found musical kin in the
Halifax scene, performing and recording with the city’s most
innovative musicians (including alt-country darlings The Guthries).
The Guthries backed Adam on his debut recording, Can’t Sleep
This One Off, with members Brian Murray (drums/banjo), Dale
Murray (guitar/pedal steel), and Serge Samson (bass/mandolin) joining
Ian Mosher (organ/piano) on Puddington’s sophomore effort, for
the meantime. Recorded at famed Common Grounds Studios in Halifax
(Anne Murray, Rita McNeil, The Rankin Family, Bryan Adams) by Andrew
Watt of the Heavy Blinkers, for the meantime has been heralded
as a “captivating” and “finely crafted collection”
(Exclaim!). Citing its “gorgeously
moody, bulletproof songs,”
The Halifax Daily News declared it “simply
one of the best albums I’ve heard all year.”
Adam’s deftly-crafted songs have been covered by many local
musicians, including rising national star Matt Mays. Most recently,
Mays and Puddington shared an eastern Canadian tour, culminating in
performances at the 2006 Juno Awards launch concert (Canada’s
Grammys) and a Juno Fest showcase.
close listening offers traces of Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Ian
Tyson and Blue Rodeo, Adam Puddington’s music arises from the
carefully tended ground he stands on. A gift to the world, from
Almonte, with love.