Rick Genge

Music that speaks the secret language of birds

Local singer-songwriter Lori Paul is getting ready to play a benefit concert on July 23 as a way of celebrating the new CD release, with husband and multi-instrumentalist Rick Genge, and percussionist Clay Thornton, at the Grey Area Gallery.

It’s not by accident that the new album by Lori Paul and Spiderlodge is chock-a-block with bird references.

The CD The Secret Language of Birds has engaging songs, lively characters and small-town quirkiness.

And of course, birds. Songbirds, ravens, sparrows and even “sleeping birds” appear in the lyrics.

“I see birds as elemental,” says local singer-songwriter Lori Paul. “Watching them at the feeder can be a balm for tired spirits in the modern world.”

Paul is getting ready to play a benefit concert on July 23 as a way of celebrating the new CD release, with husband and multi-instrumentalist Rick Genge, and percussionist Clay Thornton, at the Grey Area Gallery on Vedder Road.

When she named the new album, The Secret Language of Birds, Paul said she was trying to express her “deep reverence” for feathered creatures and the natural world.

“I am hoping that the lyrics, which are rife with bird references, will remind listeners of how precious each little bird is,” says Paul.

“Migrating birds are now paying a huge price for the environmental degradation we humans have wrought all over the planet.”

Ever since she started singing in choirs growing up on the Prairies, music-making became a central aspect of Paul’s life. At 15, she was captivated by Joni Mitchell, writing poetry, and singing in Chilliwack rock bands.

These days, when she’s not working on a new song, she’s coaching young singers or crafting a brilliant new blog entry.

Paul has opened for the legendary B.B. King at Expo ’86 and was nominated Female Vocalist of the Year by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). She spent the next phase touring the globe and honing her skills as a songwriter and lyricist.

This is her fourth recording, and part of the plan with this all-original CD of “greatest hits so far” was creating a body of work together that the trio of Spiderlodge could perform live.

There’s a longing for the rejuvenating properties of nature in lyrics from the song, Dark Sky Preserve:

“Here beneath the sweet scented trees/ We are sheltered by their cool canopy/

And there’s no need for words/ The river sings a song for the sleeping birds.”

Or here’s another reference, where birds are front and centre: “And every sparrow flying free is gonna bring my song to you,” Paul writes in Letter to Louise.

The CD is dedicated to Paul’s father-in-law, Charles Genge, in memory of his wife, Sylvia, as a way to thank him for his hand-made guitars used by Rick Genge.

The trio decided to make the CD release party a benefit concert, with all proceeds going to the Chilliwack SPCA. It’s a local cause they all felt they could all get behind, she said.

“I am hopeful that the work of the SPCA and its volunteers will help shift people’s thinking. It’s important to support causes in your community that make a difference.

“We like to support organizations that work to protect and restore biodiversity, and our world’s ecosystems so that we can continue to enjoy the enchanting songs of birds, and admire the indescribably beautiful spectacle of birds in flight.”

Spiderlodge CD release party for The Secret Language of Birds is July 23 at the Grey Area Gallery at 7 p.m. with special guest Elliott Vernon. Tickets are $15 (19+) and proceeds are going to the Chilliwack SPCA, by calling 604-795-9523 or lori@loripaul.com

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