Tom Hammel (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Tom Hammel (Special to Langley Advance Times)

COVID gives Langley musician time and inspiration for new album

Collaboration brings ‘high-level’ artists together – but not literally

by Ari Lee/Special to Langley Advance Times

With a guitar-pedal under his toe, Tom Hammel doesn’t get discouraged easily – and his passion for creating music definitely hasn’t slowed because of COVID-19.

Hammel, a Langley-based musician – who is an experienced pedal steel guitarist –has collaborated with Paul Pigat, James Badger, Jeremy Holmes, and Alex Pangman to create a little something “special” coming out today.

It’s an album, called “Steelin’ Crazy Rhythm,” that was inspired by Hammel’s love for jazz and swing music.

During the pandemic, the Fort Langley musician reached out to Canadian jazz and swing artists to collaborate on this project being released today [Monday, Oct. 26] on Bandcamp – a music streaming service.

He described Steelin’ Crazy Rhythm as a blend of fast- and slow-paced music, containing 12 songs – one original composed by Hammel and 11 variant covers.

And, what makes this album unique is that four of the songs are considered jazz standards that he wanted to do a cover of, featuring his pedal steel guitar. The rest of the songs come from the 1940s western swing era.

“The album has really high-level musicians in it,” said Hammel, pointing to each.

Badger is the drummer for country alternative band DerbyTown [another band founded by Hammel], which released its first studio album late last year.

RELATED: ‘Country music is nothing but three chords and the truth’

Pigat is a guitarist who also collaborated on the album, playing his electric guitar on five of the tracks.

Holmes is a songwriter and bass player who has recorded and played with a wide range of artists from Canada.

And Pangman added her voice, literally and figuratively, to the project. She’s featured on the song “It’s All Your Fault,” a classic western swing number and the only track on the album that contains vocals.

RELATED – VIDEO: Wheels of Times roll at CN station in Fort Langley

When COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic, Hammel took advantage of timing and decided to undertake this project.

“I’ve been playing pedal steel guitar for a while and I’ve always thought about recording jazzy-western-swing music,” he said.

After he connected with the artists, each musician individually went about recording his or her parts at home.

Normally, musicians would go to a studio and record all of their parts in the same studio, said Hammel. But that wasn’t possible due to the pandemic. So, they improvised, as so many artists are being forced to do right now.

“I pieced all of the different parts together. I mixed it and mastered it, so it was done remotely – which was interesting,” explained Hammel.

One of the challenges of recording each artist’s piece at a different venue was the technology use – each needing to know how to record, save, and transmit files.

But, it was the only way to put the album together with COVID-19 restrictions, Hammel said. And it worked.

While the album is releasing now on Bandcamp, the team plans to make the album available on Spotify and other music streaming services by end of the year.

RELATED: The Wheels of Time get rolling with help from local actors

.

_____________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

LangleyMusic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chris Veale, seen here at Brookswood Secondary School on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, has been coaching girls basketball for more than 20 years (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Coach Chris Veale backs his players

When the gym closed, this dedicated basketball coach found another way

Tabor Village took to social media on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 to share what it meant to them to have Langley Lodge staff visit and provide support. As of Tuesday (Dec. 1), the outbreak at Tabor had resulted in a total of 147 cases and 19 deaths since Nov. 4. (Tabor Village/Facebook)
Langley Lodge shows ‘solidarity’ by visiting staff of B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak

As of Tuesday, Abbotsford facility recorded 147 cases and 19 deaths since Nov. 4

Brian Lott, of the Rotary Club of Langley Central, emceed the prize draw on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley woman wins $73,615 in first ever Langley Rotary Mega Draw

After months of ticket sales, the draw was livestreamed from the Rotary Interpretive Centre Thursday

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
‘No smoke, no fire’ defense says in conflict case that could kick three off Langley Township council

Lawyers argued there’s no evidence of any conflict or vote-for-money deal

Kanata Soranaka became a Belmont bulldog this school year, and has used technology and innovation to continue to bring music to students despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley teacher finds new ways to keep the music playing during COVID

Kanata Soranaka and her music cart a common sight around Belmont Elementary

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon following a reported police incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Federal offender escapes, gets shot at and is taken back into custody in Abbotsford

Several branches of law enforcement find escapee a short distance from where he fled

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial hit with human rights complaint over mattress

The inmate who lodged the complaint said he needed a second mattress to help him manage his arthritis

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Most Read