City And Colour Album Captures Moments Across Canada

City and Colour’s Guide Me Back Home is a live album and a de facto greatest hits album. It is also, according to Dallas Green, “a love letter” to the people who came to his shows in communities across Canada last year.

The 20-track collection, available digitally beginning Oct. 5, is made up of songs recorded in more than a dozen venues from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

“I booked this really long tour of Canada to try to go to a bunch of places I’ve never been to, or towns I’ve never heard of before,” Green told iHeartRadio's Andrea Collins.

“When we got home we figured out we had all these beautiful recordings and my idea was … not to make a simple live record from a show but try to cobble together a song from each town.”

Green said the result is “a snapshot of the entire country – or at least as much as I could capture.”

Next month, Guide Me Back Home will be available as a three-LP vinyl set with photographs by Vanessa Heins and a handwritten note from Green.

The 38-year-old musician, who has performed for 17 years in Alexisonfire and as City and Colour, recently moved back to Canada after living in Nashville.

“I always felt in my heart that this was home, and every time we would come home from a tour, no matter where it was, there was an indescribable feeling when you cross the border and you get back to where you’re from and where you feel like is home,” Green explained. 

“I enjoyed having a place down in Nashville. It was great for the time but it was definitely strange to be sitting on my couch watching the presidential election and just kind of feeling a little bit strange being an outsider and watching the world change like that.

“Being in a country that just immediately felt so divided and so against other people, it definitely felt strange.”

His sold-out An Evening with City and Colour - Solo tour included shows in places like Wolfville, Vernon, and Sainte-Thérèse. Green figures at some venues, only a third of the audience was made up of his fans.

“The rest of the crowd was just people that bought tickets because it was something going on at the theatre that night,” he said. “Hopefully after the show they were like, ‘that was worth it.’”

City and Colour fans, though, may see Guide Me Back Home as a “best of” collection.

“It’s me playing songs from all over my catalogue,” Green said. “It’s me reinterpreting all these different versions of all these songs.”

He has arranged for $1 from every album sold to go to MusiCounts, a program that supports music education at schools across Canada.

“As someone who’s made a living off of music… I mean, God bless my music teachers but music wasn’t a big thing in my high school. It was never really a focus,” recalled Green. “Thankfully I did it without that.”

Green is dismayed that the arts are often the first victims of budget cuts. "They see it as maybe a frivolous thing but to me music and art just means so much to people, even to people who don’t even realize it does,” he said. “You can ask anybody. They have a song for every moment of their day.”