Crash Test Dummies Blog

Written by Brad Roberts

28 Nov

Long time no write!

Dear Friends, Fans, Family , and Comrades –

I have been most remiss in not blogging sooner than now. The truth is, I have not had much to report. I dropped out of the picture generally several years ago, and took a break from doing music altogether. Now things are moving again, and I can share a some of it with you.

I’ve finally mastered the new CTD’s record, entitled “Ooh La La.” And my other new recording project, Satsang Circus’s “Chanting Under the Big Top” is mastered as well. I’m very happy with both, which are very different from each other.

On the CTD record, I am working with Stewart Lerman, who happens to be Suzzy Roche’s partner of 17 years. If you know anything about me at all, you’ll know I became a life-long freak for The Roches when I saw them at age 16 at the Winnipeg Folk festival. Later I had the chance to meet them, as CTD’s opened for them doing an Xmas show at the Bottom Line some years back.  It was through Suzzy Roche, then,  that I met Stewart Lerman.

Stewart and I have the best working relationship I’ve had in my life as a professional singer/songwriter. He gets great vocal takes out of me. And although I write all of the lyrics, Stewart occasionally suggests a different line at crucial moments. He also can put down chord changes for, and hum a melody to, any lyric he sees.  Moreover, his arrangement skills are amazing, and he is an artist as a mixer. He has a lot to bring to the table as a musical collaborator:  he’s worked with literally 100’s of bands, and right now is working on the soundtrack for the upcoming Martin Scorcesse film. He is also one of the gentlest souls I know.

Although this record was inspired and composed on amateur hobbyist instruments, we took these songs and overdubbed real players, creating a very luxurious and almost cinematic feel. I plan to do a video, which will illustrate how these toys work, how they inspired the songs, and what the songs sounded like before the overdubs.

Satsang Circus, on the other hand, was produced by Terry Derkach.  Terry used to live in Winnipeg (I’m from there ) many, many years ago, and we were in a band for about 15 seconds. Then one day I was walking down the street here in NYC, and there he was! We’ve been working together ever since.

The Satsang Circus record is composed of Sanskrit mantras, so there are no lyrics. I invented the melodies and chord changes, and Terry sculpted many beautiful tracks

to flesh them out. He also mixed the record and did a spectacular job. I think that even those CTD fans who have doubts about this record will find themselves pleasantly surprised.

The release of these albums is slated for spring. I am working with MRI records, and have taken on a new manager. I’ll be touring in mid 2010. The rest of the Dummies all have children or serious relationships, and likely won’t come out with me.  But the songs are all mine, and it’s my voice singin’ them, so I hope you’ll all cut me some slack! I’ll likely do a mini-set of Satsang Circus material in the middle of the CTD’s set.

We will have some fabulous merch for both projects. Good design, quality materials, and a source of fond memories. T-shirts pay our bills, so if you want to see me on the road more often, buy our t-shirts!

That’s all for now, folks.

All the best, and happy holidays,


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