The Tony Dekker-helmed Canadian folk trio Great Lake Swimmers are known for their love of the outdoors. For their sixth album, A Forest of Arms, which dropped two springs ago, they headed to the Tyendinaga Caves in Tyendinaga, Ontario to record “Don’t Leave Me Hanging,” “The Great Bear” and “With Every Departure.” Adding to the haunting acoustics and guitars of those tunes is the unmistakable swoosh of circling bats.
Great Lake Swimmers are clearly not averse to taking chances, and that bravery is something fans have come to count on ever since the band first formed in Wainfleet, Ontario in 2003. That year, the band put out their eponymous debut. Next came Bodies and Minds in 2005 and Ongiara in 2007. Two more full-length albums – Lost Channels and New Wild Everywhere – and four EPs followed. Thanks to Dekker’s sincere vocals, GLS’s sound is often compared to that of Neil Young and Nick Drake, but they also name among their influences Gram Parsons and Hank Williams.
Dekker often heads to the woods for inspiration. Luckily for local fans he’ll be at the Rail – the Brass Rail, that is – Sunday, April 23 as part of the band’s Floating Through the Forest tour.