by Fraser McCallum
Tim Chaisson is an unlikely young star in pop music. Quiet, humble, and known for many years as a gifted instrumentalist, it would seem that a long and fruitful career as a sideman was a likely future for the Souris native. Chaisson has shaken those expectations, however, and these days enjoys an immensely busy schedule as the frontman of Tim Chaisson & Morning Fold, a pop band who’s 2010 year of accomplishments would be the envy of any Canadian act.
Morning Fold (named after the morning act of laundry folding) is comprised of Chaisson, Tian Wigmore on lead guitar, Nat Lamoreux on drums, and Brien McCarthy on bass. 2010 was a banner year for the group and included multiple Music PEI awards, ECMA nominations, showcases at both JunoFest and Atlantic Canada House, and two music videos cracking Much More Music’s Top 10 charts.
Canadian pop-rock veterans The Trews took a great liking to Morning Fold and after many shared shows in PEI and Nova Scotia, asked Chaisson and Wigmore to join them on an extensive acoustic tour in the late fall. According to Chaisson the collaboration has been eye opening, to say the least.
“We’ve learned a lot from the Trews boys but I’d say their work ethic and respect for the audience would be the most important” he says from the road. “They’re great guys with no ego, which is sometimes hard to find in the music business. Just being surrounded by them and their crew is awesome. You’re out to put on a great show, meet fans, and make sure everyone is having a good time.”
The tour, a sprawling 30 dates from coast to coast, has been an enriching experience for the two bandmates. Wigmore was hired on additionally as the guitar tech for The Trews’ nightly set, a role he’s really embraced. Chaisson, meanwhile, has enjoyed the chance to play in more intimate settings than some other tours.
“Doing the 35 minute acoustic thing every night kinda brings me back to before Morning Fold. In my ‘early’ days, I was pretty much always acoustic with Tian or one of my cousins. 90 percent of the venues we’ve been playing have been theatres, which make it so much easier to connect with the audience. We get to talk about the songs, play a fiddle set and everyone is paying attention. Tian and I have learned a lot.”
In addition to the abundant successes with Morning Fold, Chaisson still embraces his Souris roots and is turning heads as a fiddle player, recently sessioning for Gordie Johnson and The Trews’ recordings, amongst others.
“I used to take that type of music for granted,” recalls Chaisson. “And when I first started songwriting I shied away from the fiddle because everyone knew me as a fiddler. Now I definitely embrace it. It adds a cool touch to our songs and to other bands as well. Being able to play fiddle on Highway of Heroes by The Trews and to get to play on the new Big Sugar record is pretty neat.”
As for new plans for Morning Fold in 2011, fans can expect more touring and likely another music video. “I’ve also been writing while on tour so I plan on taking some time to crack down on new material at the beginning of the year,” writes Chaisson. “We plan on being flat out in 2011—work hard while we can!”