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Prayer of the Woods

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Editors’ Notes

Taking a sabbatical from his duties as lead singer of Toronto’s Great Lake Swimmers, Tony Dekker ruminates on the mysteries of the North Country on his solo debut project. Prayer of the Woods is a quietly stunning song collection, concealing poetic subtleties and musical richness under deceptively simple musical surfaces. Dekker reveals flashes of deep feeling amid oblique lyric imagery, inviting comparisons with the early songs of fellow Canadian Neil Young. His understated yet evocative vocals and sparse, acoustic-centered arrangements conjure pictures of Ontario’s vast empty spaces and dark, dream-inducing forestlands. The title track sums up the compassionate, austerely reverent tone that pervades the album as a whole. Songs like “Somewhere Near Thunder Bay” and “Talking in Your Sleep” have a gently rolling flow powered by steady guitar strums, while “Empty Arms” and “Under a Magician’s Sky” are haunting, introspective pieces. In Dekker’s hands, Gordon Lightfoot’s “Carefree Highway” loses its pop-hit sheen to expose a lonesome, bluesy core.

Customer Reviews

Beautiful and Haunting

This is a beautiful and moving album, even moreso than his work with Great Lake Swimmers. Tony Dekker's music carries so much emotion. In its simple and haunting presentation, it can, at times, move the listener to tears, whether tears of empathy or tears of joy. His rendition of Gordon Lightfoot's "Carefree Highway" is much more tender and heart-wrenching than the original. There is not a bad song on the album. They are all beautifully done.

Prayer of the Woods, Tony Dekker
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Customer Ratings