“Raymond has a robust and serviceable voice but his true strength is as a songwriter. Within Canadian roots music circles word of that is quickly spreading, as other artists have begun covering his tunes. They’ll find plenty to work with here.”
– Kerry Doole, Exclaim! Magazine
“Corin’s magic appeal comes from a unique blend of vulnerability with a high energy personality. It’s something you see sometimes in comedians, but rarely in musicians.” – The Basement Rug
“Corin Raymond, to me… is just a giant ‘Fuck you’ to mediocrity.”
It seems to Corin that he’s been riding the rapids of his life for years now. It’s hard for him to remember the last time he sat still. This past year has definitely been a white-water ride: touring through ‘historical’ snowstorms in Arkansas, Texas, and four other states; crossing the provinces from ON to BC and back at least 4 times, and covering 30,000 kilometres of that road with Jonathan Byrd, a songwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina who Corin heard for the first time in Austin, TX, in 2006, and with whom Corin has shared the cabs of a lot of touring vehicles since, given up more than a few airplane window seats to, and written a number of unbreakable songs with, including the title track of Corin’s most recent album, 2009’s There Will Always Be A Small Time.
Corin played at six festivals in the summer of 2011, including The North Country Fair in AB, ArtsWells in BC, Summerfolk in Owen Sound, ON, The Shelter Valley Folk Festival near Grafton, ON, Northern Lights Borealis Festival in Sudbury, ON, and The Hamilton Fringe Festival, the last with his one-man show– devoid of music, an hour-long spoken-word show called BOOKWORM– which Corin debuted at that Hamilton festival.
Whenever Corin is able to buy Toronto groceries and sleep in his own bed he is joined every Thursday from 6-8pm at The Cameron House by his band The Sundowners (Treasa Levasseur, David Baxter, Brian Kobayakawa). Corin Raymond and The Sundowners have been a weekly feature at The Cameron for over six years now. Corin’s songs often are on the road when he isn’t, having fun he only finds out about after the fact. When Blue Rodeo included Corin’s song Three Thousand Miles in their 2nd-night encore in Vancouver in the fall, Corin learned about it the next day on Facebook.
As for instantly-employable songs, Corin’s been lucky enough to have written several of those with Winnipeg songwriter Rob Vaarmeyer, who comes to Toronto once a year for a ‘writing vacation’. In 2010 Corin and Rob wrote ‘A Big Truck Brought It’, a trucker song which got the attention of Garth Brooks’ manager and publisher in the spring of 2011. Corin and Rob threw that song to the lawyers, where a single-song agreement is in the making. Another composition of Corin and Rob’s, ‘Take Me To The Mountain (But Not Yet)’, was used in an audition tape for a part in the Coen Brothers next film, where it earned Corin a second look, making Corin’s hotmail account a wee bit more compelling for a week or two in October. Most recently, in August 2011, Corin and Rob teamed up to write ‘Canadian Tire Money’, the song which unexpectedly launched the present ‘Canadian Tire Starter’ campaign and which has generated more fun than Corin can even keep up with. Corin is presently labouring toward a live album, to be recorded January 24/25th in the Main Hall of The Tranzac with his band The Sundowners.
A Poetic Fact about Corin:
He’ll hang with you when you’ve been sleeping in your clothes for days, stained wine glasses scattered around your bed. He can also clear the sky of clouds.
Some Hard Facts about Corin:
Corin was born in Winnipeg, MB, started his life in far Northern Ontario, moved with his father to Southern Ontario when still a boy, and has kept his stuff in Toronto for 17 years.
Corin belonged for many years to a duo called The Undesirables, who toured all over the world and made three CDs of which Corin is very proud.
Corin’s album There Will Always Be A Small Time went to #5 on the Roots Charts in the US, and every one of the 12 tracks got played several times, something the promoter said had never happened to any record he’d ever sent out.
The same album was nominated for two Independent Music Awards (Alt-Country Album for There Will Always Be A Small Time and Story Song for ‘Blue Mermaid Dress‘) and the album won the popular vote for Alt-Country Album. Read more about all that here.
Corin’s band The Sundowners contains at least eight Juno nominations (Treasa Levasseur for Best Blues Album for her 2008 release Low Fidelity; Brian Kobayakawa, for Instrumental Album of the Year and Roots and Traditional Group with his band The Creaking Tree String Quartet (twice in both categories); and David Baxter, producer of three Juno-nominated albums by Justin Rutledge, Bob Snider, and Treasa Levasseur).
Corin was prevented from being arrested in England in 2007 because the Immigration Officer, it miraculously turned out, was a huge Tom Waits fan. The Officer who served Corin a ten-year ban from England in 2008 had never heard of Tom Waits.
Corin’s songs have been covered by Dustin Bentall (who recorded ‘Three Thousand Miles‘), Treasa Levasseur (who recorded both ‘Asking Me To Give You The Blues‘ and ‘Help Me Over‘), Patricia O’Callaghan, Scott Nolan, Romi Mayes, Andrew Neville and The Poor Choices, Jonathan Byrd (who recorded their cowrites ‘The Law and the Lonesome‘ and ‘May The River Run Dry‘– both of which have been covered by several other acts in their turn), Scott Cook and The Long Weekends, Steve Brockley, Maple Jack, Josh Cockerill, Greg Cockerill, Greg Hobbs, Claire Jenkins, The Strumbellas, The Ferraros, The Farmers, Raghu Lokanathan, Suzie McNeil, and Blue Rodeo.
Incidentally, three different Corin Raymond songs have been performed by three different artists at Massey Hall. Corin’s songs often get better gigs than he does, and he’s proud of that.
A Brief Bio of Corin’s Audience:
Corin’s audience are discerning listeners, the kind of people who choose their DJs carefully and are their own DJs the rest of the time. His audience are people for whom music– especially a good song and a good lyric– is a life-changing thing. These are people who connect and commune with themselves through music, who celebrate with music, and who like it joyous and honest. They want their favourite songs performed with abandon. They’re probably a lot like Corin in that regard. They like to dance but they come to music more for listening than for dancing. They use songs to illuminate their secret selves or to put words to things there were previously no words for. They’re also like Corin in the way music inspires them at every level of their lives. Music is there for them when they want to party, and it’s there for them when things fall apart.