Sarah Rennie –
There are few people in the Valley who support all things local to the same extent as musician Noah Tolhurst. So much so, that when it came time to shoot a music video for the title track off his album Stillbuster, he picked a local venue and opened it up to anyone willing to tap their toes for the camera.
“I wanted the first real single to be based around something Valley-oriented, and the fact that it’s a fast-paced danceable song helps to give it some legs,” says Tolhurst of his folk-a-billy style song Stillbuster, and his idea to get as many locals together as possible for the video on November 10.
“I never thought about not filming locally, and the size and general appearance of MacDougall Hall’s upstairs suits the feel of the song pretty well,” he adds, while describing how the Ormstown venue stood out as the optimal location for what he had in mind.
The hall was definitely swinging as over 20 individuals made it out for the shoot. All were cast as dancers, dressed in semi-formal attire from several decades back. Tolhurst was accompanied for the shoot by musicians Daniel McKell on the Gut Bucket and Bruce Barr on the washboard. Not only were the dancers treated to the opportunity to be in a video, they also took in a mini concert. It was “solid skiffle,” says Tolhurst, of jamming in between takes to keep the audience interested.
The set was also highly influenced with props created by Tolhurst with several elements of his day job as a woodworking craftsman and luthier at Studio Tolhurst in Howick on full display. He made six footlights from dollar store parts, a wood sled for his box bass drum, a gut bucket washtub bass and a custom amplifier using local wood and old electrical parts, including a 1930s Atwater Kent radio speaker. “Pretty cool, but really time consuming, especially when time is at a premium,” he says, referring to the start of the Christmas rush keeping his studio light on into the wee hours of the night these days.
Old friends reunited
Following the release of his first album, Stillbuster, back in September, Tolhurst found himself looking for different ways to promote his music. By chance, he saw a promotional video an old friend from CVR, Phil Bourdon, had produced online and reached out. “It seemed like a logical move, especially considering how compatible Phil and I are in terms of artistic sensibilities,” he says, noting how both are the proud owners of the same orange Gletsch 5120 guitar.
Satisfied with this first experience shooting a video, Tolhurst admits he has plans for more in the future, and will definitely be working with Bourdon again. “I’ve got some ideas for future videos, mostly for songs that I’ve written but not yet recorded. Next album, or maybe a single or two in the meantime.
For those who can’t wait for the video release for a taste of Stillbuster, Noah Tolhurst will be opening for Stoney Loner and his Rhythm Rounders, a band visiting from the Yukon, at Grove Hall on Saturday, November 24. To hear any of the songs off his new album, visit noahtolhurst.com.