ABOUT THE ALBUM
Underdog is a hybrid of sounds influenced by 70’s classic rock, adult contemporary, blues, ballads and gospel music. Songs like “Underdog”, “Mercy”, and “My Home” signify a growth in the artist’s songwriting and narrative capabilities. Throughout the album Sawchuk digs deep into the emotions of the theme: underdog. “Look into your heart when you feel flawed,” the title track “Underdog” tells us, “Look for the passion/there in the passion/the passion of your heart.” Sonically, Underdog is an album that resists being contained into one genre; thematically it defies the world’s attempt to inform who or what the Underdog should be, as there is evidence of an underdog in us all.
The pre-production of Underdog was completed at Blue-Gull Studios engineered by JK Gulley. Following the laying of the groundwork, Sawchuk proceeded to Toronto where he worked with legendary recording engineer Jeremy Darby (Lou Reid and Barenaked Ladies) at Canterbury Studios. Mati Haskell supplemented Sawchuk on background vocals, Douglas Romano played keys, Gary Craig on percussion, John Dymond on bass, Roly Platt on the harmonica, and JK Gulley on lead guitar. For about half of the tracks on the album, Sawchuk pursued the addition of a string section arranged by Lance Anderson, performed by members of the Kitchener/Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, and recorded at Cedartree Recording Studio in Kitchener with engineer by Rick Hutt. Underdog was mastered by Peter Letros of Wreckhouse Mastering.
Don Sawchuk’s Underdog – The Album – Song by Song
- Underdog – Pop Rock
An upbeat, triumphant and empowering title track that announces the theme of the record.
- Love Is – Lite Rock
A feel-good, hope-inspiring love song with upbeat keys and smooth melodies.
- Mercy – Alternative Rock
A relatable tale of overcoming bullying and adversary with a powerful chorus elevated by a moving string arrangement juxtaposed against edgy slide-guitar riffs.
- Right On Time – Southern Rock
A catchy guitar-centric rock song with an engaging melody and interesting female vocal harmonies.
- No Place To Go – Back Porch Blues
A portrait of abject poverty and desperation from a raw colour palate of red-hot slide guitar and cold-blue harmonica.
- My Home – Alternative Rock
Haunting and touching longings of a Canadian prisoner of war dreaming of returning home.
- You Are The One – Ballad
The ultimate love song with beautiful lyrics, interesting chord progression and fluid string quartet arrangement.
- Drowning In Tears – Slow Blues
A raw heartfelt tale of a love triangle gone terribly wrong with a harmonica performance second to none by Canadian Roly Platt.
- Happy It Happened – Lite Rock
An uplifting, light-hearted love song with mandolin and accordion parts which leave the listener feeling utterly elated.
- Where Are You Now? – Alternative Rock
A heart-wrenching plea for protection with a breathtaking outro vocal performance by Canadian recording artist Mati Haskell.
- You Love Me Too – Ballad
A “come back to me” love song using clever musical imagery with touching melody, supportive harmony and sugar-sweet string arrangement.
- Let Your Music Play – Rock
A psychedelic trip rounding out the theme of the record with a crescendo of strings and gripping guitar solo by Canadian JK Gulley.
Produced by JK Gulley
Blue Gull Studio