Paul Hogeterp writes and performs songs as Low Country Hill. It’s a loose translation of his Dutch-Frisian surname and a fitting metaphor for what music can be. Low Country Hill has released two records including a self-titled debut album in 2014 and the Guesthouse EP in 2017. Dave King produced and played drums on both releases. Musicians Patrick Sansone (Wilco, Autumn Defense) and Bill Dillon (Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson, Peter Gabriel) lent their artistry to the debut record while Paul Linklater (Bidini Band, Communism) filled out the sound on the EP. Low Country Hill tours extensively, playing house concerts, breweries, and cafes all over Ontario. The new album A Billion Rooms is set to be released in November 2023 (in both digital and vinyl formats). Dave King returns as producer and drummer while Patrick Sansone is on bass, electric guitar, keyboards, mellotron, percussion, and backing vocals. It’s a small miracle how it all came together…
With the eerie quiet and boarded-up feeling of early pandemic time, Paul initially felt a writing and song exploration paralysis. The logjam eventually broke and he began revisiting and reshaping existing songs in various stages of germination, while crafting new ones. Despite the uncertainty, Paul found solace and clarity in the writing rhythm. The fruit of his labour is a collection of songs that reflect on the complexities of loss, growing up as a preacher’s kid in an immigrant community, and the “boiling dystopian stew” close to home and globally.
Serendipity intervened to get the new songs recorded. With the help of videographer Sheldon Norton, a promo video was made and an Indiegogo “Let’s Make LCH 3” funding campaign was launched in February 2023. Eighty generous backers contributed to finance the album. On the recording front, Dave King saw an opening in his schedule in early 2023 and Patrick Sansone also had a break coming up in his Wilco commitments. They were IN and good to go! So Paul, Dave and Patrick got to work from their respective far flung corners of the continent, forming an axis of goodness: Dave developed his drum parts at home in Novia Scotia. Soon after, he joined Paul in Hamilton to record drum parts, vocals and acoustic guitar at Catherine North Studios, A Cellar Full of Noise and a friend’s vacant house. And down in Nashville, Patrick recorded his parts at his Tiny Door Door Studio. Dave later joined Patrick down south to mix the record.
A Billion Rooms came together almost seamlessly and joy found its way at every stage. There’s a soulful and playful spirit on every track, a fine balance of subtlety and swagger. The energy and love of many propelled the project to the finish line. Now, A Billion Rooms is poised to enter the audio ether and Paul is hungry to share it with listeners close to home and worldwide. Put your headphones on.
Postscript: Sadly, we lost Georgie Fab (aka Bob Johnston), a Hamilton music scene icon, while recording at his Cellar Full of Noise Studio in April. Perpetual light on Georgie and peace to his dear family.
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