A big welcome back for Sean Cotton, son of local legend Neil Cotton, ex of The Undesirables (with the GDot’s Corin Raymond), and now presiding in Burk’s Falls (near Parry Sound). One mighty fine musician.
Cotton plays guitar, sings and manages percussion using his guitar case. A microphone is set inside the case and a cymbal placed on the other end as he drums with his feet.
He describes his music as having a 70’s feel, from the stylings of greats such as Bill Withers and Van Morrison to Waylon Jennings.
Cotton moved north after living in Toronto and working as a full-time touring musician. He’s retired from the touring life (making this a very special appearance) so that he can spend quality family time, which has been met with a fair amount of envy from his still-touring peers.
“All of my peers down in Toronto have all been considering the life change,” he said.
He has formally made five records as an artist and, back in the days of cassettes, spent much of his time working as a session musician with other artists. He and a number of other musically inclined individuals formed Tree Ring Records, a music studio that features performances from musicians from Almaguin and Muskoka. They were concerned over the lack of a known music scene in the region.
“It’s more of a cooperative than a company,” he said.
All of the artists work for each other, giving what they can to help each other by using their talents. “The main goal is not for it to be a money making venture,” he said. “There isn’t a culture of original music in this area.”
Cotton says the artists in this area have been struggling to go it alone like “trees falling in the forest doing it solely on their own without a culture” to back them up. He is hoping Tree Ring Records will change all that. “We want to have it be the brand that creates the awareness,” he said. “We’re trying to create a culture for original music. People don’t know what they’re missing.”