In The Moment, indeed when Stars Collide, a moment that now seems truly destined to have taken place rather than by any chance, one sunny summer afternoon there was a spontaneous but only somewhat coincidental initial meeting between present day Walbury Music Collective besties; singer/songwriter and group Producer, Warren Albury, and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Duff Fredricksen. Subsequently, guided intuitively by decades of their collective musical backgrounds, upon scheduling another get together at his rural studio outpost, only this time to simply play through a few of Warren’s original tunes, the resulting instant chemistry and abounding musical magic created that day constituted the necessary fertile ground for a swift germination of one very special seed about to become the sprout of a new band. Seemingly a lifetime ago now, but this was that eureka moment when a creative light at the core of one great studio band to-be shone down for the first time on what is today, Walbury Music Collective.
Consequently, that which started as quite possibly just a one-time casual get together to play some tunes, thereafter involved a couple of lives transforming musically, that is, Warren and Duff subsequently scheduled weekly rehearsals together. Those rehearsals soon became routine recording sessions on Warren’s new recording equipment, sessions that would indeed continue for several years to come. Proceeding steadily then, to ultimately fulfill their goal of recording an album of W’s originals, they were all the while working as well on creating a female trio to perform that material upon completion of their debut album. No sooner had this dynamic duo adopted that concept as their go to plan going forward, by then they had already also set about building their own, fairly elaborate, acoustically designed recording studio in an oversized double garage. This would prove to be a big move, in terms of a significant step-up towards a much better quality of recording tracks than those they had only dreamed of creating in their initial studio space. Finally, after one full year of utilizing all their free time for its design and construction in rural South Delta, B.C., just south of Vancouver, Big Little Sound Studio was realized, a fully equipped home studio extraordinaire now ready for some serious action.
As Warren continued actively recruiting more players, at that point a, “we just built it so, they will come” philosophy was pervasive among all participating. Upon its completion, they even had the luxury of their own new studio intern. Sure enough, in fact many great musical talents did indeed come along to join in the music making and recording fun. With others volunteering, virtually en masse, by this time, to contribute their individual legacy sounds to the ongoing recording of Walbury Music tracks already well underway, around five years after the luxury of recording in their own studio had become a way of life, now long-time musical family member and, ostensibly the third atom at the core of this group’s nucleus, Mark Smith, appeared like mana (through the reference of a mutual friend) fully rounding out the band’s sound to include what is still today, the existing three integral remaining band members. Mark compliments the band’s productions overall with his top-notch background harmony vocals and virtually all of those magical monster guitar riffs (complete with two-part lead harmonies) on the group’s recordings.
Following shortly thereafter, and again rather organically, a recently retired lead trumpet player from Vancouver’s Symphony Orchestra, Ray Kirkham (who learned about the project through a mutual acquaintance of Warren’s at the local deli), upon contacting Warren and subsequently visiting the band’s new studio to hear just what they were up to, was indeed requisitioned immediately to record with the group. Ultimately then, Ray became an integral part of a live three-piece brass section indeed created at his behest to complete the WMC sound and, was in fact recorded on three of the only six tunes ultimately completed with female lead vocals. Ray also saw fit to solicit the interest of his son Tony on the group’s behalf as WMC’s then much-needed drummer. In multiple recording sessions thereafter, Tony killed it every time, subsequently, playing the drums on all of the band’s tracks to date.
After several years of largely unsuccessful auditions for female lead vocalists, resulting in only two vocalists being found strong enough to take on the lead in only half a dozen songs recorded, the idea for such a trio came to a quiet end. Accordingly, with the manifestation of new lead vocal tracks on his tunes from Warren as the new focus for the band’s lead vox tracks, the already highly motivated WMC crew continued on still more intent than ever on selecting and recording additional new original tracks, routinely being added to further compliment the band’s growing repertoire. It was then when the group’s highly talented alto background vocalist Drea (whom Warren met locally too, at the local health food store) also joined the project and, it became apparent that the enduring sound of Walbury Music Collective in its present-day incarnation was then being fully realized.
Not so fortunately however, after just under ten years in their studio with two full albums of songs recorded, the WMC players virtually all moved to different regions within the province of B.C. That notwithstanding, now after the many years of making music together and with their stronger than ever musical bond keeping them affixed, the friendships of the core threesome; Warren, Duff, and Mark remain strong and true. Therefore, one can rest assured this trio remains a creative musical force that will continue to be reckoned with and, going forward, one can also expect new WMC recorded tracks to be released regularly since, in spite of the physical distances that might now separate these boys, technology and their love of recording music together in fact keeps the hearts at the centre of Walbury Music Collective’s three key players still beating musically, as one …and still making music together.