The Wyrd Sisters has always been a duo - Nancy Reinhold and myself, Kim. Nancy and I headed the band, wrote the songs, sang most of the lead, made the plans, paid the bills, carried the heavy equipment and dreamed the dreams. Our third vocalist changed numerous times over the years, and our band consisted of whatever musicians we had available to us for whatever tour we were going on at the time. Because we presented as a group and wrote and sang for three part harmony, most people mistakenly considered the Wyrd Sisters to be a group of larger than two. This never seemed to matter. The music we made had a life of its own. It took on the personality of our audience and grew and changed as our audience did. Most times the music felt as though it was channelled through us, and that our individual personalities had nothing to do with the birth of a song or with how it was received. People came for the music, the message, the show... and they still do...
Nancy left the band several years ago and moved to the states, where she unfortunately does not do enough music. Her departure, besides being personally devastating to me, also left me with the dilemma of deciding whether I should or could continue the band without her. Our remaining musicians, friends and fans convinced me that I should at least try to continue the band. So I did.
For the past five years I have continued to tour the band. I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to find that we were as well received as we always had been. We toured new places, made new fans and friends and continued to spread the 'wyrd'. It seems that the music and the message we began with remains the same, and that the personalities creating the music are also still the same - vehicles for the voices and souls of our audience.
Today, with the help of old friends and new friends, The Wyrd Sisters is ready to embark on new journeys.
Learning to run the band on my own was not easy. The business side of it was overwhelming, and there were some difficulties in finding just the right kind of personalities to create the best possible band. My personal life was rocky - I hadn't yet healed from Nancy's departure and I had entered into a relationship with a person whose family did not recognize me as a valid human being (a shock to my system I must say!); and I still ran a full time business besides the band... Needless to say, everything was very tiring! Still, after a few years everything settled down and began to run smoothly. The band were great people, fun to tour and work with and the music was coming along swimmingly. ... It was time to create a new CD.
The album title 'Wholly' is meant to be the play on words that it is - Wholly/Holy. During the band's early years, the music was often overtly political. Songs were about violence against women, politics, clearcutting, the Montreal Massacre... As time went on we saw that our audience was changing and our music changed along with them. People were evolving, their interests became more complex and sophisticated - the 'issues' were no longer external but internal. Documenting and decrying injustice was no longer enough.
It was/is time for change. To change the outside, the inside must change first... Internal change enters the realm of the spirit. And so, tagging along on the undertow of our audience, our songs began to change. It was always our goal to reflect the face of our audience, and our audience has grown deeply spiritual. Not in a religious manner, but in a manner designed to hopefully evolve the human race into something more civilized and more blessedly beautiful. Whole. Wholly. Holy.
This CD is meant to contain a collection of songs which (hopefully) describes this process.
Halfway through recording this project we were dealt several blows. Delina, (our biz whiz and co-conspirator) suffered some tragedies and illnesses in her family. At the same time, I was drawn into an ongoing legal battle. The project went on hold while various battles and dilemmas took over. If I wasn't really tired before... well... now I was.
The recording was finished physically, but all of the work neccesary to release the CD was on hold. I was tired. Life was complicated. I was about to give up and retire the band, without releasing the new CD.
Then Delina called me. As is her way, she single-mindedly healed her gravely ill children and fixed up the rest of the planet. With a kick in the butt from her, the project was back on....
Murray Pulver, the producer of our last project 'Sin & Other Salvations', much-sought-after award-winning famous musician and all-round great guy produced this album. John Schritt enginered the project in his and Shirley Schritt's Winnipeg first class studio "Channels". Jennifer Gibson, myself and Delina are vocalists, along with some guest vocalists. The band consists of regulars such as Julene Gravett on drums and Marie Josée Dandeneau on bass as well as numerous other musicians who are listed on the CD liner.
Doowah Design in Winnipeg have always graciously and generously donated their talents to the design of our CD artwork, and this project was no exception. Steven and Terry, owners of Doowah brought the artwork to me with the following story to describe the process they came up with for the design:
"As designers of all of the Wyrd Sister CDs we've been in the unique position of seeing first-hand the evolution of the Wyrd Sisters as it happened. You have always been at the helm of the ship, leading the band and pulling it through. The mast of the ship is an actual figurehead in a european museum, and we've embossed your face over it. We've enlarged the snake to symbolyze feminine wisdom. The sky is dark and the sea is tumultuous, just like the times you have been going through. On the back page is a scene of serene water and blue skies. We are confident that you'll bring the band through to those calm waters..."
Well... Make me cry! (I still think it's Steven's nose on that figurehead!)
The inside of the insert of the CD has my vitilago hands and snake tattoo forming the goddess symbol, both to tie into the track 'Skin' and to continue with the spiritual-evolution theme. The photograph, containing we three naked women and apple and sweetgrass (more feminine and spiritual imagery), was taken by Daryl Malone of Winnipeg.