We sat down with the Captain himself...
Step aboard the Story Boat with Captain Crimmins, aka Blair Crimmins, as we dive deeper into the making of his latest album for SoulShine Schools. Discover how he drew inspiration from SoulShine's curriculum to craft a collection of educational and empowering songs that speak to young people's personal and existential experiences. From the creative process behind each track to the heartwarming anecdotes from the recording studio, Captain Crimmins shares his journey and hopes for all listeners. Join us for an insightful interview that sheds light on the making of the SoulShine album.
What was the inspiration behind your new album for SoulShine Schools?
Captain Crimmins: The Soulshine philosophy of living! Shannon loaded me up with so many books and lists of subjects which are part of the curriculum. There was no shortage of topics to draw from. My goal was to write songs that had an educational factor about permaculture and sustainability but also have a deeper message pertaining to the more personal and existential experience of young people.
Can you describe your creative process when writing and recording the album?
Captain Crimmins: I knew I wanted to have a song about every season. For those songs I picked genres that I felt captured the emotion of each season. An upbeat jazz number for the excitement of spring, a country rock song for the irreverence of summer, a Irish jig and singalong for the camaraderie of autumn and a dark bluesy number for isolation of winter. For the non seasonal songs, I’d pick a very simple topic then do my research for the educational parts of the song. Then I’d start looking to find my inspiration for the deeper meaning. For instance “Firefly”, I researched their behavior, why they glow etc. When I read that they glow as a way of finding each other in the dark I found my message. Don’t hide in the dark, shine brighter because someone out there feels the same way and is looking for you!
How does the music on this album differ from your previous work?
Captain Crimmins: This is my second “childrens” album. I have 4 other records of “adult” music as well. I love writing the songs for a kid audience because it allows me to write from a different perspective. This album for Soulshine differs from my previous Captain Crimmins record because has a the consistent message of caring for the earth which connects all the songs
Did you face any particular challenges while working on this album, and if so, how did you overcome them?
Captain Crimmins: The writing and recording process actually came together very easy. Everyone involved loved the project and had a great time making the record. The school didn’t put any limitations on what I could or couldn’t do. I think we were all on the same page, believed in each other and let each other do their best without complicating it.
What do you hope listeners take away from your music on this album?
Captain Crimmins: I hope they can hear how much heart and soul we put into it.
Can you share any anecdotes or stories from the recording process?
Captain Crimmins: When we first cut the ballad “Firefly” I was singing in my natural voice and it just wasn’t happy with it. I loved the music and lyrics so much but something wasn’t working. My wife Davi was in the studio on the last day of me cutting vocals and we came up with the idea for me to sing in a character “cartoon” firefly voice. It was like we had the idea at the same time and both “lit up” with excitement (pun intended) I went in and recut the whole vocal track in this high pitched little bug voice. Everyone in the studio was laughing and crying at the same time because it was so silly but it also made the character so heart breaking and sweet. Suddenly the tune that wasn’t quite right became everybody’s favorite. It was just missing that special little voice.
How did working with SoulShine Schools influence your creative process and the direction of the album?
Captain Crimmins: I came to visit the school and I immediately understood and loved the permaculture concept of living for children. I was always my happiest in the outdoors when I was a kid but these days I don’t get out in nature enough. It brought out my inner child and that really helped me write the tunes.
Are there any particular songs on the album that hold a special meaning to you, and if so, why?
Captain Crimmins: Each song really does have a special meaning for me but the 60 second song was my way of teaching meditation to the young listener. I’ve been practicing meditation for many years and only wish I had started sooner!
How do you see this album fitting into the larger musical landscape, both within the context of your own work and within the wider industry?
Captain Crimmins: When the band and I first listened back to the mixes we all were saying “this doesn’t sound like a kids album!” Some of the tunes, for instance Belly Of A Whale have such a great groove we could easily play it in front of an adult crowd and they’d get down and dance to it. I can’t wait to see how it’s received by kids and adults alike.
What do you have planned next, either for SoulShine Schools or for your own music career?
Captain Crimmins: I’ll be out touring again this summer playing “adult music” but I might just have to sneak in a few Captian Crimmins songs at the shows!
The latest children's album from SoulShine Schools!
Featuring Captain Crimmins And The Story Boat Band, this album is a celebration of nature, permaculture principles, and the SoulShine Way.
With catchy tunes and fun lyrics, the album encourages kids to explore the world around them, connect with nature, and learn about sustainability. From the joy of planting a garden to the magic of composting, each song on the album is inspired by the principles of permaculture and the SoulShine Way.
Captain Crimmins And The Story Boat Band have created a musical journey that will inspire children to be curious, kind, and caring stewards of the Earth. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or caregiver, this self-titled album is the perfect way to introduce kids to important ecological concepts in a fun and engaging way.
So gather the kids, turn up the volume, and get ready to sail away on a musical adventure with SoulShine and Captain Crimmins And The Story Boat Band!