Catherine Swift
Debut Album (2022)

MomPicAt 77 years of age, this youthful songwriter is the mother of Canada’s Ember Swift, prolific and international musician and songwriter now living in Beijing, China.

Herself a veteran songwriter, Catherine Swift has been penning tunes since her youth, many of which were used in her classrooms throughout a long and devoted primary school teaching career. Upon retirement from the classroom, Catherine finally turned to her passions, which first took the form of self-publishing books of poetry. Her first, “A Stitch in Rhyme” was released in (2004) and followed closely by “Senior Moments,” published in (2006). Both showcase Catherine’s love of rhyme and meter, humour and lyrical rhythm.

However, the gift of singing and creating didn’t just start at Catherine Swift. From a long line of musicians, Catherine’s grandfather was also a musician and her mother, Helen Spinks, was a gifted singer and composer. In 2002, Ember invited her mother and grandmother, Helen Spinks, into the studio to feature on the track “When A Gypsy Makes Her Violin Cry,” (Ember Swift, Stiltwalking 2002). Helen Spinks (Catherine’s mother) is also the songwriter covered on Ember Swift’s 2011 (11:11) and 2017 (Sticks & Stones) albums, “I Wish I May” and “I’ve Fallen In Love With You” respectively.

There are stories of Catherine Swift and her mother, Helen Spinks, composing songs in the kitchen as they washed dishes together while Catherine was just a young teen. This fuelled her love of singing and performing. During teacher’s college, Catherine was often a guest with several big bands and jazz ensembles and was often the featured vocalist at various events and dances throughout Ontario. It was at one of these events that her husband, Ted Swift, first noticed the beautiful young woman with the sweet soprano. As they say, the rest is history. They married in 1967 and have been together for 54 years now (and counting), are the proud parents of two grown women, and are now proud grandparents of four adorable grandchildren.

Gramme-Album_coverIn 2008, after the birth of her first grandchild, (son of her eldest daughter, Temple Swift) Catherine Swift began to take her newest rhythmic poetry and convert it to songs. Soon a second grandchild, (Ember Swift’s daughter,) was born. With a songbird voice and a gift for inventing melodies, her grandchildren were overjoyed to hear their “Gramme” sing to them and more and more songs began to emerge. By the time both Catherine’s daughters had had two children of their own, Catherine realized she had a full body of work that was ready to be wrapped up and packaged for others to enjoy.

In 2015, Catherine asked her daughter, Ember, to help her organize the recording of this collection. They collaborated to create simple musical arrangement with Ember on acoustic guitar and several of Ember’s musical community also lent their talents to the project, such as Adam Bowman (Gueph, ON) on drums, Andrew McPherson (Guelph, ON) on bass and engineering/production, and Yoav Volansky (Israel) on keys.  Over the course of three summers (limited visiting time for a daughter who lives across the world), Catherine and Ember travelled into Andrew McPherson’s studio and created the project you hear today. This was followed by a year of mixing and organizing of graphic design elements and then was delayed yet again by a global pandemic. Nevertheless, good things take time!

It is with great pleasure that Few’ll Ignite Sound presents the debut album by Catherine Swift of Norland, Ontario; Canada. She is living proof that it is never too late to fulfill a dream and explore our passions fully. This is a collection of songs filled with family love and hope and reflection. Indeed, it’s “Gramme’s Gift” to all of us. From hers to yours, just as the album title says, these songs can’t help but warm your heart.

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