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Daniel Lanois

Canadian producer and musician

Armando Bellmas
Armando Bellmas
Daniel Lanois

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to an organ-based gospel tune by producer and musician Daniel Lanois. Forever a collaborator, Lanois assembles a crew of musicians and singers to reach spiritual and musical heights that sound heavenly. It's such a beautiful song. You'll go deeper with an excerpt from an interview between Lanois and Aaron Irons on Sound and Soul.

"Way Down" by Daniel Lanois
2021 | Canadian producer and musician

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[Daniel Lanois's] latest artistic incarnation is Heavy Sun, an outfit Lanois describes as a vocal group featuring singer-songwriter Rocco DeLuca, organist/singer Johnny Shepherd, drummer Brian Blade, and longtime friend and bandmate Jim Wilson. Equal parts gospel and science fiction soul rally, Heavy Sun blends harmony with choir energy and positivity. It’s an album Lanois has conspired to make for years– but don’t imagine that he’s reached his zenith just yet. The 69-year-old continues to seek out new innovations and inspirations with the same passion he’s cultivated across multiple decades worth of albums and awards. “It never stops for me,” said Lanois. “And I hope it never will!”

Aaron Irons: Through various podcasts and interviews, I’ve been able to assemble what I think is a pretty decent playlist [from Heavy Sun]. You’ve called it a gospel record, and from what I’ve heard, it’s all sweetness and light and absolutely a gospel record driven by organ and those layered vocals.

Daniel Lanois: Yeah, we were pretty lucky to bump into the great Johnny Shepherd from Shreveport, Louisiana. I’m a now and again guitar player in the Hallelujah Train, which is a band run by pastor Brady Blade out of Shreveport. That’s where I met Johnny and I thought, “What a talent!” We call him our hymnologist. He has a real understanding of hymns as a choir leader. He was able to guide us along through the harmonies. He had a simple rule: Every song has to have a good message. I said, “Okay, Johnny, let’s go!” (Laughs)

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