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City & Colour’s Bring Me Your Love, 10 Years Old

2018 February 12
by Mike Vial

Bring Me Your Love is 10-years-old. What’s that cliche about time flying?

For me, time takes me back to road trips through Ontario.

Bring Me Your Love changed my life while I was teaching in Holly. I listened to Dallas Green on repeat to get through lonely times while living in Fenton, the year before I met my wife.

On a whim, I wrote a Myspace message to the producer, Dan Achen, asking if he had time to record a high school teacher who wrote some songs.

Dan wrote me back and said, “Let’s do it!”

So there I was in 2009, crossing the border to Canada, driving to this amazing place: a church converted into a recording studio.

The bell would ring on Friday. I’d leave Holly High School’s parking lot, drive four hours to Hamilton–while listening to City and Colour on repeat–and soon find myself standing in the same place where my favorite record was cut. I was playing the same instruments used, too, including a pre-war Martin acoustic! (Dan had the *best* guitar collection!)

Plus, the studio would let me sleep in the basement to save money during those weekend-recording-marathons. I’d grade papers at night after long days of recording with a red pen in my right hand, a pint of Canadian ale in my left.

In March of 2010, between first and second hour, I found out Dan died of a heart attack. I called Michael Chambers from the staff bathroom to see if the news was real. I was wiping tears from my eyes as a pack of 30 freshmen entered my classroom. (I think we were reading Romeo and Juliet’s Act II. s3 that day: “The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night.”)

I only got to spend a few weekends with Dan, but he changed my life. After Dan died, I committed to leaving teaching to do music full time, partly because I saw how short life could be, partly because Dan showed an interest in what I was making.

And I formed friendships in Canada that I’m so lucky to have after all of these years. Michael Chambers and I would go on to finish more recordings at Catherine North Studios between 2011-2013.

It was all because of this record by City and Colour.

And now it’s ten years later. A pack of freshmen will be coming into my classroom tomorrow, and this record will be playing in the background as they enter.


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