In the winter of 2011 I read a nice review by Sandy Smith of my album The Boy in the Back on the Canadian folk music website Slowcoustic. I wrote to Sandy and we started talking about the idea of releasing a Pickering Pick album on his Yer Bird Records label. I loved the idea, I liked a lot of artists on Yer Bird, and I had lots of songs ready to record. In the spring I sent Sandy a collection of ten songs which ultimately became Tiger Balm.
This album was a turning point in a lot of ways; I was moving away from being completely independent, releasing what I wanted, whenever I wanted. But I liked the idea of putting out a record on an established label and working within the boundaries of the industry, whatever that means. I also liked the songs I had, and I felt they were strong enough to be floated in a bigger ocean.
Sandy and Judy at Yer Bird were wonderful people to work with, and I miss being a part of the YB family. When Yer Bird Records dissolved a few years ago, Sandy was a gentleman and a friend and he handed back control of all my songs graciously and without condition. It was a pleasure and a delight to be involved with the label and to be a part of something honest and grass-roots and pro-folk music. I feel like my association with the label made me a better songwriter and a more precise critic of my own work, and I am grateful for that.
These ten songs are a journey into my dreams. This is my most subconscious record so far - an exploration of my fears and my desires, and my past and my future.
This re-release - June 21, 2021 - comes exactly ten years on from the day the album was first released. I hope you enjoy this Ten Year Anniversary remaster of Tiger Balm. Thank you all for your continuing support and good energy. I am so grateful for all the messages and words of support and love you keep sending me. Enjoy the music!