Songsmith for a Small Planet
Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Peter Brunette composes and performs songs that celebrate the everyday follies of life and love, revel in the glory of the expanding universe, and stick it to the powers that be. His catalogue, in other words, is expansive and diverse, running the gamut from heartfelt ballads to hilarious novelty songs, from tender lullabies to trenchant political satires.
Whether singing of the passion and fragility of young love, the sedate but durable charms of the more seasoned variety, the colorful history of his home province, the beauty of the glacier lily, or the mating habits of the leatherback turtle, Peter never fails to set arresting words to his infectious melodies. When he performs at folk clubs and coffeehouses around Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, audiences are often moved to laughter, occasionally to tears.
Peter was born in Toronto, raised in southern California, and molded musically by the folk revival of the 1960s. Having returned to Canada in the era of the Vietnam War, he is married and has five children and eight grandchildren.
Peter’s first CD, Meadowlark, will be released in the spring of 2014. Produced on Vancouver Island by Corwin Fox, the album comprises twelve original compositions that showcase Peter’s distinctive songwriting and down-home vocal style, complemented by Corwin’s sparkling arrangements for guitar, mandolin, fiddle, accordion, banjo, and more than half a dozen other instruments and voices.
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One of the tracks on the CD, “Cordillera,” is also the theme song of the Cordillera Campaign, a grassroots initiative to rename Canada’s Pacific province. In point of fact, Peter and his comrades argue, the place called British Columbia is neither British nor Columbian. Britain once laid claim to this far-flung corner of the globe, to be sure, but it did so for not much more than a decade (1858-1871), and rather implausibly at that, considering that the Brits then occupied less than five percent of the territory they supposedly governed. As for Columbus, the province’s other ill-conceived namesake, he was pretty sure that no such place even existed!
If you agree that Cordillera—whose dictionary definition is “a system of parallel mountain ranges together with the intervening plateaus, valleys, basins, rivers, lakes, and plains”—is a lovelier and more befitting name for the landscapes that run from the Canadian Rockies to the sea, you can support the campaign by signing the petition.
Tags: Peter Brunette, musician, songwriter, singer-songwriter, folksinger, folk music, Cordillera Campaign