Doug Paisley

"The Black Fly Song" (Wade Hemsworth cover) on Exclaim! TV

BY Riley HuntPublished Feb 2, 2015

Chronicling the time Brantford, Ontario's Wade Hemsworth spent as a surveyor in Northern Ontario, Quebec and Labrador, Folk Songs of the Canadian North Woods candidly depicts the beauty and trying realities of life in the great outdoors.

In the album's most telling track, "The Black Fly Song," Hemsworth sings about his surveying crew attempting to build a dam while being eaten alive by a swarm of black flies. Though 60 years have passed since the song's original release, the story of the black flies lives on, having made it's way back south and into the grips of renowned Toronto singer-songwriter Doug Paisley.

In a recent session for Exclaim! TV, Paisley and his accompanying bassist Ben Whiteley took the opportunity to breathe new life into the song, offering up their own barrelling version of Hemsworth's Canadian classic.

Keeping things simple with a steadily picked guitar bed and bassline, Paisley overlays the tale of the black fly with a sense of real urgency and authenticity, making one believe it was him and not Hemsworth who proclaimed, "I'll die with the black fly a-picking my bones."

Watch Paisley's performance in the player below. 

Filmed and edited by Katherine Kwan 
Audio by Nash Bussieres

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