While he was notably absent from HMN for the last year or two, the prolific singer and songwriter known as Pip had released some twenty–four albums in his discography with the last dozen or so created his time in the last decade or so in Hamilton. After a brief time out of the spotlight, Pip returns this week with a celebration of two releases.
“I had some issues with my health and my family which delayed the release of my twenty fifth album,” says Pip. “So this week, I’m releasing not one but two new albums at the upcoming Artcrawl. I will be celebrating the release of records number twenty–five, called 25, and number twenty–six, an EP called Palisades.”
Pip is so prolific, one might be concerned he’ll have another release for his website by the time we’ve finished the interview.
“I’ve been pretty diligent with following my muse when it’s there so I take advantage of that while I can and don’t take it for granted,” says Pip. “I’m lucky enough to be performing at the level at I’m at even at my ripe old age, I’m looking at my peak. I work hard at it and I’m satisfied with the songs that are coming out of me.”
“The new music continues my journey in world and jazz landscapes while still being my identifiable accessible pop sound,” adds Pip. “Lyrically, it’s fairly mature and developing — I’m at over 300 songs registered with SOCAN so I see development there. A favourite track of mine to play is Palisades, another number about climbing above the fray and finding a peaceful view. It’s about overcoming stuff and persevering and getting over the hump, and it seems pertinent over the last year or two that I’ve been able to do that. I’m still alive and I’m lucky to be cranking out tunes and playing them live. When George Harrison died, I thought that was way too young to go but I thought to myself I’ve got to live longer than that and now I have and reached that milestone. I’m healthier now than I was before so I’m happy about that.”
The quirky acoustic folk pop of Pip should settle nicely for both of his free performances this week and while playing to passersby may be daunting, it’s still a great way for Pip to do what he loves and to get in front of an audience.
“I used to love Art Crawl but a lot of the galleries and music venues have disappeared so it’s transforming more into a restaurant strip and flea market but we’ll see,” says Pip. “The Barton Street area is really developing now and I’m interested to see what happens there — Barton could be the next James Street. If you can’t make the Friday night gig, I’m playing 12–2pm on Thursday and Friday on top of Jackson Square. It’s often hot up there but there are a lot of great artists playing up there all summer long. It’s a good chance to hear a new artist and it’s very casual with grass and it’s very intimate. Bring your lunch, with extra fries for your performer as I might steel some of them.
“I’ll be selling autographed downloads,” adds Pip with a chuckle. “I don’t know about getting music to people as nobody buys CDs anymore and downloads are for artists in the stratosphere but I’m happy to be making music and playing it. I’m planning to keep writing and playing until the taps run dry, and so far I’m lucky to be able to keep writing at the level I’m at. I will, along with a handful of other locals, keep carrying the torch for artists writing and performing original unique material.”
Pip plays atop Jackson Square this Thursday July 11 and Friday July 12 from Noon until 2pm and this Friday July 11 at the Hamilton Visitor's Centre in the Lister Block from 6pm to 9pm for James Street North Art Crawl. Click on metrophilmusic.bandcamp.com