Don Graham: Getting Back To His Roots

Don Graham.jpg

Submitted by Sandy Graham

Toronto-based, Montreal-born and raised singer/songwriter Don Graham is getting back to his roots. Graham heads back down the 401 Highway on May 25th to perform at the Mariposa Café. “ I’m really looking forward to this gig, I get to go back where it all started for me and play with the guy that I started with all those years ago, Bill Hill,” Graham said from his home in the Beach in Toronto. The one night only show will mark the first time Graham has performed in Montreal in close to 25 years and the first Graham and Hill have shared a stage in the same amount of time. Graham said “Starting out in the 1970’s I was fortunate to have Bill as my guitar player and a strong bond of friendship was formed that has lasted all these years. Billy was one of the premier guitarists of that time and I learned a ton from him. Hill said from his home in Montreal “ I really enjoy playing with Don. I love his writing and we’ve written some gems together. This is going to a fun night. I might even have to tune for this gig, he said with a laugh.”

The night will feature two sets of mostly original songs from Graham “I throw in a Merle Haggard song every night just because he was such a big influence on my writing.” Featuring songs from Graham’s Willing Heart CD produced by Hill and some from a yet to be released album and some new songs including Graham's current single “ I Just Called Him Dad” “ produced by Muscle Shoals and Nashville legend Norbert Putnam. Graham made an iPhone demo of the song and sent it to his friend, famed record producer and bass player Norbert Putnam in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Putnam liked the song and suggested Don get himself to the Shoals and record it. “I sent it to Norbert on October 25th and on November 20th I was in Alabama at the Nutthouse Studio with Jimmy Nutt and an incredible band of seasoned session musicians.” Norbert had assembled an amazing band. We had James Leblanc on guitar, on keys we had the legendary Randy McCormick who played on Kenny Chesney records, Tim McGraw and a host of others as well as playing the iconic piano lick on Bob Seger’s ‘Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll’. On drums, we had Milton Sledge, a member of Garth Brooks’ G Men, Garth’s studio band who has played on every Garth Brooks record since 1988. On bass Norbert, who’s played on thousands of records from Arthur Alexander’s hit ‘You Better Move On’ to ‘Polk Salad Annie’ and over 100 Elvis records.

This promises to be an exciting night and Graham is pumped for this show. “I’ve heard from friends that I haven’t seen for years that say they will there. And it will be awesome to perform again for friends and family. I just wish mom and dad could be there. I have songs in my set now for each of them, “My Mama’s Smile” and I Just Called Him Dad.” I can’t wait to bring this all full circle.”

For tickets and reservations call Mariposa Café at 514 699 5159