“It’s been in the works for at least 20 years,” said Prest, who lives in Truro Heights but is originally from Stewiacke Valley. “But the CD has been on the recording studio for about four-and-a-half years now. The biggest thing was time.”
The album, Legends and Lies, features a collection of original songs written by Prest about his roots and the folklore of the area.
“They are true stories that I’ve not only heard, but are featured in books at the Upper Stewiacke Museum. They’re documented history,” said the musician and vocalist. “When I introduce the album, I talk about one of the things that’s missing today – people sitting together, on a Saturday night for example, telling stories.
“We’re missing a part of our own area here and I thought it would be a neat idea to stick those together, so there’s that little creative twist to it.”
Prest had been recording some of the album at his small recording studio in his home, but turned to a friend – Kirk Redden of Full Spectrum Sound – to complete the soundtrack.
“He got to joking with me about when I was going to get the album done, and I asked when he wanted to get it done,” Prest said, adding the thought then turned into seriousness. “Because I have a small recording studio at home, he just took my files and put it together.”
The title track to the album is one Prest wrote for his children when they were young, but he admits the entire album is for his children.
“The first song is focused at them. My kids heard it throughout the years. There is also a song on there, The Footbridge, that they requested every Halloween because it’s got a bit of an eerie tone to it,” he said.
While two of his children – a son in Fredericton and a daughter in Alberta – won’t be making it to this weekend’s album release, Prest hopes a second daughter, who lives in Antigonish, will be able to make it.
“They’ll all have a copy of the album, but as far as feedback, I haven’t heard anything from them yet,” he said.
The album release party is set for the Upper Stewiacke United Church Hall on April 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free and coffee and tea will be served.
“I’m pretty proud of it,” Prest said about the album. “I’ve had some good responses back so far, one of my favourites being that it is very clear and very good sound, which I have to credit Kirk for,” he said.
Each song on the album is introduced with a narrative, something that Prest doesn’t think has been done before.
The album, which features Prest’s longtime friends and bandmates – Dale Fisher, Lorna Letcher, Julie (Patriquin) Johnstone, and Prest’s wife, CJ – is available at Mingo’s Music and the Calabay Café, both on Prince Street in Truro; the Upper Stewiacke Museum, or by contacting Prest at 895-6522.
The musician is currently planning a release event for the Truro area, however nothing has been finalized.