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Interview with Donny Parenteau

Interview with Donny
Parenteau

 

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and
how’s it doing?

Donny Parenteau: My latest album is Bring
It On
 and it’s doing very well.
Since its release in Nov 2012 the CD has been placed into a time
capsule at the Regina Saskatchewan Legislative Building to be opened
in 100 years. This is the only CD placed in the capsule so it is a
huge honour to me and my family name, Parenteau. This CD has also
been nominated for a 2013 JUNO Award (Aboriginal Album of the Year)
Bring It On
has also been nominated at the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards for
Album of the Year.

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title
for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

Donny Parenteau: The title came from one of the
songs called “Bring It On” that I co-wrote with Brad
Johner. This was a good name for the CD as this is where I am at
right now musically in my life. I’m ready for anything…Bring It On.

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs
yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Donny Parenteau: I write my own songs and
co-write with people for all my CD’s and also use other peoples’
works. When making a new CD I would try to write the entire project
and only when you feel some of the songs are not fitting the path of
this particular CD you source for songs. You can use publishing
companies like Ole for this.

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the
songs on your album (influences, etc).

Donny Parenteau: The songs on this CD were
selected by me and my co-producer Bart McKay to fit were I am at
today musically. There are 7 out of 11 that were penned by myself and
with co-writers who were all Canadian. The song “Honey It’s
Broke” was penned by Thomas Wade and I and it talks about the
saying ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ which we relate to a
relationship. “Sun Shower” I co wrote with Terry Ferinhough
and it is a feel good song about being in a good relationship. “Bring
It On” I co wrote with Brad Johner and it talks about a
friendship that developed at a young age and how they went thru life
with the take the bull by the horns attitude. “Deep In The Heart
of Saskatchewan” was one I wrote by myself and it explains how I
feel about my home province and this song was the reason my CD ended
up in the time capsule. “Yes Ma’am” is a song I wrote and
it a humorous tune about a guy going through life realizing “If
Mama ain’t happy No ones happy.” “Don’t Forget To Fish”
is a song I co-wrote with Darlene Tuleta and the title and story
comes from what an Elder once said to me. The Elder asked me how busy
I had been and I said we were touring and so on and then he mentioned
to me don’t forget to fish which I responded I don’t fish and he said
that’s not what I mean. It turns out it’s just another way of saying
don’t forget to smell the roses. 

“You” is a song co-written with Troy
Kokal and the song was one of the fastest I have ever wrote. The song
was also written over Skype as I was in Prince Albert, SK and Troy
was in Calgary, AB. This song is a pure love song about saying to the
love of your life how you feel about them and how they make you feel.
The next 4 songs off the CD were sourced out where we found the songs
“Can’t Afford to Love You” and “The Last Thing You Do”
which are great songs I wish I wrote but sang them as if I did. The
final two songs were duets I did with a couple of special friends.
“It Will Be Alright With Me” was penned by Jeff Neil and
Jimmy Barnes and the song was never meant to be a duet. I met Jully
Black while performing July 1st 2012 Canada Day Live on Parliament
Hill and we hit if off real quick. Jully had asked me if she could
record something with me and I went to my guitar case and the only
lyrics I had in there was the song “It Will Be Alright With Me.”
I reviewed it as I sat next to her and it came to life that this
could be a duet. The next month Jully was on a plane singing it with
me in the studio in Saskatoon, SK. “Snow White” is a
special song to me originally done by the Canadian Rock group
Streetheart that I grew up listening to. I met Kenny Shields during
Telemiracle in 2011 and we became instant friends. When I was picking
songs I had mentioned to Kenny that I would like to re cut Snow White
and he said sure which I followed up with this request ” One
condition, you sing it with me.” Kenny was on the next flight
out of Winnipeg to Saskatoon to the studio. What a treat that was…

Lamitschka:  What is the difference
between your last CD and your current one?

Donny Parenteau: Everything I do as a vocalist
to playing the fiddle on this CD was challenged to take it all to
another level.

Lamitschka:  Your current single is being
played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that
makes people want to hear it?

Donny Parenteau: The song is called “Sun
Shower” and I think the feel and message of the songs is what
people enjoy hearing. Also, with the winter we all just thought that
anything with SUN in a title works. 

Lamitschka:  What will your next single
be?

Donny Parenteau: Working on that now and it is
narrowed down to 2 choices–“The Last Thing You Do” or
“You.”

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you
like to record the most?

Donny Parenteau: Great message with a
good feel that everyone can relate too.

Lamitschka:  You did a duet with Kenny
Shields and Jully Black. How did that happen to come about?

Donny Parenteau: I met Kenny four years ago
during Telemiracle while Streetheart was part of the National Cast.
Kenny and I hit it off so well and became fast friends. I asked him
if I could re-cut the song “Snow White” but with one
condition ( he sang on the CD with me) and it worked. With Jully
Black I met her while performing Canada Day Live on Parliament Hill
2012. Jully had asked if she could record a song with me and it just
so happened that I had one song with the lyrics in my guitar case
that afternoon called “It Will Be Alright With Me.” I never
heard this as a duet as it was not wrote that way by the writers Jeff
Neil and James Barnes. We found out real soon that it could be a duet
and Jully came out to Saskatoon to record it with me.

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song
among all the songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?

Donny Parenteau: There are so many but the one
that comes to mind is “Chances Are” that I wrote for my
daughter Julianna before she was born. I wanted to write this for her
to remember how special Daddy and Mommy thought she was coming into
this world. This by the way is not Julianna’s favorite of Daddy’s
songs. 

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