Genre: Rock, Folk, Country
The Magpies went into Charles Austin’s Echo Chamber studio in north end Halifax, Nova Scotia, on a Sunday afternoon in late October of 2010. They had no particular agenda and in the course of an afternoon recorded fourteen songs. Over the next year, Stan Carew, from those songs, constructed a musical biography of a man who witnessed executive decisions that changed the course of modern history, shattered economies and led to deaths of millions of people. A man who saw first hand the intrigue, guile and ruthlessness rampant in the corridors of power.
Stan Carew fits the definition of late bloomer. He's been writing songs for thirty years while maintaining a high profile radio career, yet only started recording four years ago. The Magpies have been playing music for the joy of it for more than twenty years, but only started performing in public in 2007. The band is anchored by two distinctive guitarists, Steve Brown and Richard King, who are effortlessly in synch, like a couple who finish each other’s sentences. On keyboards is Dr. John Sayre, who earned his doctorate in math by being "the piano man" in bars in southern Ontario in the 1970's, travelling in a van with an upright piano mounted in the back, turning any campground an instant party. Stan and the bass player Eric Jones have been playing together for thirty five years. The Magpies usually don't perform with drums, but for The Head of Security enlisted the help of the most respected drummer on Canada's east coast, Jeff Arsenault. A record label executive once described an early incarnation of the Magpies as "a cross between Dire Straits and the Kentucky Headhunters".
The album opens in the office of a Washington psychiatrist, to whom the Head of Security has been referred by the senior shrink at the CIA. Think Robert Ludlum with an electric guitar. The Head of Security is the Magpies' second recording.