It’s a commonly held belief that the mind and body must work together to accomplish life’s tasks, large or small. Whether it’s getting dressed, cooking dinner, or pursuing a dream, the way we put the pieces together determines the outcome. Connections become the all important matrix of our desire. Brian Bourgault was going about the business of his daily life as a music store owner and guitar player when his body suddenly stopped making a routine connection. A year later, at age 33, he was diagnosed with an untreatable, progressive neurological disease. That was 2005. Now, twelve years since that fateful day, Brian has been reunited with his passion, making music, and there is no stopping his renewed determination. While physically limited in his ability to play music, he’s found that creating it comes as much from the heart as the hands. When life restricts mobility, the energy of the mind and heart have proven to be a powerful force in resurrecting the purpose that lies within the soul. With every blow that threatens to kill his spirit, Brian continues to get up and walk bravely down the path he finds himself on, letting music lead the way.
2017 rolled in with a burning desire to start creating again, and Brian went about finding a way to do that without being able to play any instruments. He bought a MAC and some songwriting software and figured out how to write songs on the computer with MIDI, using both hands to control the mouse. Motivated by a songwriting contest he’d discovered, he booked some studio time and brought musicians in to play along with the tracks from his computer, keeping the bass and drum parts that he had programmed. It was the catalyst that he needed to get back on the musical path, and Brian set his intentions on recording his first full length.
Engineer and producer, Marc Benning works from Hideaway Studio, a residential recording retreat near Colorado Springs. Brian had met Marc through mutual friends years earlier and knew that Hideaway was where he wanted to record the album. Marc was to engineer, co-produce and play bass. Erik Deutsch (Leftover Salmon), renowned studio and touring musician, offered to travel from his home in Brooklyn to add keys to the project. Dan Schwindt (Kyle Hollingsworth Band), acclaimed guitarist, would handle the 6 string, which Brian could no longer play, and Denver’s most in-demand drummer, Carl Sorensen (Dragondeer, Chimney Choir, in/Planes), completed the rhythm section. The horns would be led by sax legend, Dwight Bement (Gary Puckett & The Union Gap Band, Frank Zappa’s Blackouts), who arranged the horn parts and brought on a trumpet player, Chris Lawson. Brian would sing lead vocals and Kim Dawson (The Pimps of Joytime) and Tanya Shylock (formerly with The Motet) would provide backing vocals. It was a dream team for an inspired project! Brian wrote 19 songs between March and October, and went into the studio with no rehearsals, only the demos that he had made on his computer to guide the way. Twelve songs were recorded in three days! It was an old soul rendering of new music, connecting Brian’s creative energy with a group of talented players.
Released on April 13, 2018, Be Kind is a celebration of life, love and loss. Harsh realities are faced head on, with honest lyrics and soulful vocals. It’s difficult to pin down one specific genre, as they all bleed into one another, creating a wonderful harmony that revives the music of the past- from funky Motown, to classic Jazz with just a pinch of good ol’ country twang.
The title single, Be Kind, is an uplifting vision of a better world, where he urges others to “be kind” to one another, “pray for each other, play with each other, and be kind.” That said, the album balances some darker themes with lighthearted or even mellow music.
At times, if you listen to the lyrics closely, beyond the seemingly upbeat tone of the album, you’ll hear a man on the brink of an existential crisis. What is the meaning of the world, if any? How can we cut the noise and get to the true meaning of life? Between the feel-good dance songs, the slow-rendering ballads, and the kaleidoscope of musical instruments, we hear Borgo finding the answer to these questions, and we’re lucky enough to come along for this musical ride.