Rodney Browns new CD, Songs of Fort William,
is unlike anything he has released previously.
Backed by our Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra,
and lushly orchestrated by composer Lise Vaugeois,
Songs of Fort William merges Brown's strength as a
songwriter with classical orchestration. This is a con-
cept album, focusing on Thunder Bay history and the
role played in the fur trade. Brown writes about indi-
viduals chiefy - William McGillivary - while captur-
ing the tone of what this vast land of forests and Lake
Superior was like two centuries ago. There are l0 tracks
here. Two are iconic: "The Big Lonely' is haunting,
stark, vivid, and perfectly suited to a symphonic ren-
dition; and "AIl That Remains," Brown's revisitation
of the original site of Fort William and his modern
reflection on what was created there. Recorded a year
ago at our Thunder Bay Community Auditorium,
Songs of Fort William has outstanding technical
and production values. The TBSO, conducted by
Arthur Post, shimmers underneath Browns strong
vocals. Like Fort William itself recreated at Point de
Meuron, this is a CD that will stand the test of time.