Local musician Danny Drouin was trying to coordinate a jam recently when someone said, “Well, there’ll be no fiddle on Sunday or no bass on Saturday.”
“There’s a song there,” Drouin thought. “So I wrote about a fiddler who always played at church on Sundays. He passed away—no fiddle on Sunday. That’s how it happens. Sometimes the lyrics are first, sometimes the music hits me first. I prefer mornings to write. When inspiration hits, I’m alone. Sometimes I just need 10 minutes. I might stumble on a weird guitar lick or a chord structure I like, I just go with it,” he explais.
Drouin started playing guitar over 25 years ago and began writing seriously in 2016. “I was tired of playing in cover bands, in bar rooms, being a side man. I got serious,” he said. (Although in 2019, he did receive Music PEI’s Cover Artist of the Year award.)
In 2017, Drouin started recording his own music in his home. “I had no experience,” he shares. “Just a program and a computer—I taught myself. I would send my wife and kids upstairs when I was recording. They had to be so quiet! And no one could come over. It didn’t take long for them to get fed up, so I bought a small building and moved it onto my land.”
Another local musician, Robert Jones, was one of Drouin’s first customers. “Robert really encouraged me to go for it,” he said. “Now a dozen or more artists have used my services, and I get calls from all over the Island. I did a lot of experimenting, everything is computerized. Man, that ol’ mouse moves pretty quick!”
Lisa Carragher received her recording time with Drouin from her husband as a birthday present. “I’m one of the guinea pigs,” Lisa explains. “I always wanted to make my own CD.”
Luckily, she was recording the day I was meeting with Drouin, and I was treated to one of her original songs, “Irish Gold Rush at the ‘gash,” a heartfelt song about Irish moss gathering in Miminegash. “I’m lovin’ it,” Lisa said. “I was timid at first, but Danny made it so welcoming here. I’m really relaxed.”
Drouin would like to make recording his full time job at some point. It has become his passion.
You can catch him performing with local musicians at the Mill River Resort, December 5, 12, 18 and 19, at 7 pm. He is also looking forward to his upcoming solo show on January 14 at Trailside Music Hall in Charlottetown.
“Man, this is big for me,” Danny admits. “So much talent has gone through that place.”