Windsor musician Brendan Scott Friel has taken his passion for the city to a level through his new song and music video Border City Town.
“I knew I wanted to write a song about growing up here in Windsor but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to say about it,” he told 519. “Would it be a positive love song to the city? Or a chance to list my complaints? So as I dove into the writing process I really had to do some soul searching about how I felt as a Windsorite. I’m happy with what I ended up with which I hope is not completely positive or negative, but more an honest well rounded description of life in the city.”
Interestingly, it’s a song with passion, but also gritty at the same time.
“I’m not looking to make anyone feel like our city is perfect,” Brendan explained. “Because it isn’t. But, when I heard the first mix played back, I had this swell of pride in my chest. Even with the flaws, maybe BECAUSE of the flaws, this is MY home town. I just hope listeners get that same feeling, even if they aren’t from Windsor/Detroit.”
Like most in Windsor, Friel’s passion is for the things Windsor can be.
“We have an absolutely gorgeous waterfront that is being wasted,” he said. “For our neighbours coming from Detroit, the first impression of Windsor is a bunch of strip clubs and empty houses and there is SO much more to this city than this. I’d also love to see more support for the arts. There is so much talent here but I feel it is largely self sustaining. More venues for musicians, more outlets for artists, cheaper rent for small business owners would make a world of difference.”
Homelessness in Windsor, especially downtown, is an issue that’s been sideswiped a lot, but Friel brought it to the forefront at the single’s release party at Green bean Cafe on June 1.
“During the process of writing the song I had a list of complaints and list of positives. The more I read through the complaints the more I felt like I was just whining about things I had made no personal attempt to improve. Homelessness downtown was a major one and I decided then and there that when the song was done I would find some way to involve the downtown missions.”
The song features harmonica by Big Sugar’s Kelly Hoppe and the music video is a homage to Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues – shot in downtown Windsor in black and white with flipping cue cards. It features Windsor’s Feather Hat Guy throughout.
For more about Brendan, visit his website at brendanscottfriel.ca.