Great Lake Swimmers – Ongiara

by Woody on February 27, 2007

Great Lake Swimmers

For those of you not familiar with Great Lakes Swimmers, I would best describe them as Iron & Wine, backed by My Morning Jacket, circa Acoustic Citsuoca. Ongiara is the Canadian outfit’s third release and my favorite of the three. The album was recorded at Aeolian Hall in London, Ontario. Apparently, it is a 100 year old acoustical wonder. Having never been there, I can’t confirm nor deny, but it does give the album a nice warm feel.

Tony Dekker is the voice and songwriter for Great Lake Swimmers, and he is joined by Erik Arnesen (banjo, electric guitar) and Colin Huebert (drums, percussion, glockenspiel, timpani.) There are also a host of guest musicians that help fill out the sound with autoharp, dobro, cello and strings from Arcade Fire.

I really liked Bodies and Minds but Ongiara seems to have a little more texture to it. Some of the standout tracks include Catcher Song, I Am A Part Of A Large Family and Passenger Song.

If you enjoy a great songwriter working behind a rootsy musical collaboration then you should check them out. Tony Dekker is a songwriter on the rise and its only a matter of time before he gets his due in the States.

Great Lake Swimmers – Your Rocky Spine

Great Lake Swimmers – I am Part of a Large Family

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

oz February 27, 2007 at 8:16 pm

It’s been raining non-stop out here and this is the perfect album for those indoor days or just to relax. It’s my new favorite album. Great recommendation.

Keith May January 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I love the GLS. Great Harmonies. You should also check out the Band “Bear Lake” for that midwest, earthy vibe. This band is the next big thing. Check them out at

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