Dan Mangan + Blacksmith's Canadian tour in support of Club Meds begins today (February 18) in Halifax, and fans can get a taste what the current Exclaim! cover stars are like live thanks to a new performance video for album cut "Pretty Good Joke."
Okay, so this isn't exactly a typical Blacksmith performance. It's a collaboration with Vancouver music series Playground, which set the band up with a veritable orchestra of 35 backing players — with the twist being that these supporting performers aren't actually musicians.
They were joined for this project by some auxiliary musicians including Zachary Gray of the Zolas, trumpeter JP Carter and more, with Club Meds producer Colin Stewart helping to record, mix and master.
Mangan said in a statement, "Quite the trip to see 40 strangers hit eighth notes for about five straight minutes. What a cool experience. Big thanks to the Playground crew for pulling it all together." The live session took place on January 29 at the Warehouse Studio.
Watch the performance below. It matches the climactic ballad with hypnotically droning accompaniment, and the whole thing is captured with atmospheric, shadowy visuals.
Check out Mangan and Blacksmith's tour schedule here.