Musicians in the band playing with Gryner that evening were among those involved in her upcoming album, Only of Earth.
The concept album is the first of a trilogy and based on an original sci-fi story, a style Gryner said she long been interested in.
“It stems back from long boring days in Camlachie, just looking at the space atlas,” she said.
Years later, Gryner began working with now retired Sarnia astronaut Chris Hadfield on musical projects, plus she said there has long been a connection between space and classic rock.
“I really wanted to explore this on this album,” she said.
The story is “semi-autobiographical” but the personal details are disguised in the characters and situations.
“I feel like when you come up with a story in sci-fi or fantasy, it gives you the licence to really be bizarre,” she said.
The project is a new approach for Gryner who has had a long career as a solo artist, recently as a founding member of the folk trio Trent Severn, and work she has done with other artists, including touring years ago as a member of the late David Bowie’s band.
“When Bowie passed away, I felt very compelled to look at why we do anything,” she said.
“It made you think about art and music, and his bravery and curiosity.”
Gryner said the new project also came out of the experience of becoming a mom.
The songs remain “reminiscent of a lot of the pop stuff that I’ve done, but there was a focus on this one to make it more geared towards the 70s and 80s,” she said.
“In a lot of cases, I asked people to play on the album who made music back in that time, and that gives it an authenticity.”
They include guitarist David Rhodes, who has worked with Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush.
“One day I just looked him up and asked him if he wanted to play on it, and he said ‘yes.’”
Others include the late Greg Lowe, a guitarist Gryner became close with when they were both part of a Grand Theatre production of the musical Joni Mitchell: River, and Chris Wardman, a guitarist and producer who has worked with Blue Peter and Big Wreck.....