Cairo the Cat

An EP from Neil Hendry

Elephant Queen
Tiny Pebble
Lost on You
Jan Lake Lodge
OK (small bye-bye version)

Neil Hendry wrote all these songs (SOCAN) except for one song. That song (Lost on You) was written by LP, Michael Gonzales, Nate Campany, and Erick Landero — (Tcbinaflashsongs, BMG Platinum Songs US, Primary Wave Beats, Songs of Universal Inc, Dear Cleveland Publishing, Where Da Kasz At, & Songs for Kidinakorner.)

Recorded near Collingwood, Ontario, at EANER studios from November 29th to December 1st, 2019.

Produced by Ryan Patterson and Neil Hendry
Engineered and mixed by Ryan Patterson
Cover design by Howie Shia

Executive producers Xena Hendry and Marlowe Heise

George The Cat Records: GTC-002

Cairo was a cat. He came to us by way of Jacqueline who was required far away. Cairo preferred not to travel great distances. His understanding was limited in a way that did not allow for planes.

Cairo investigated every guitar that came into our home. The main guitar here is named Bradley after my late, great, nephew. The green man built my guitar for me. Bradley’s brother and sister (Conner and Shyanne) did not meet Cairo, but they made an excellent team with Bradley. They still do.

Well that is the question. What predated Cairo and what post dated him? In one way it is clear and in another it is not. Does a cat friend ever go away? Doesn’t it feel like they were always around? Cairo was our best pal and he deserves this album. If a comic book was written and he was involved he might have a speaking part and there might be a bridge with a troll or something. The troll would ask him some questions and he would meow in a way that would answer the troll correctly. He was a fierce explorer and a compassionate cuddler.

The muse is everywhere you see. There is nothing like a cat to remind one of such.

A tribute written for a long ago squeeze whose name began with K. At the time I thought it was a clever thing to call the song OK. She understandably took it as a statement of her barely passable personal quality so it never really went over as planned. Mediocrity was not the inspiration for the time. Still, ‘was usable here.

It is no surprise that the cat that inspired an album also inspired a song. My version here is a little lonely and I point you to the original version that features the proper time signatures. I point to my So Long Seven brothers—Tgate, Ravitron et Willy Lam, and our recording on Kala Kalo. I would have included them here but my vanity was insisting on a solo recording. I am impossible to work with, as well, you see.

The elephant queen was magnificent and there is a song on here for her. In October of 2016 there was a beautiful elephant that transitioned into the beyond in Kenya. Her official name was F_MU1 but she has come to be known as the Elephant Queen. She had enormously long tusks that went right to the ground. She died of old age.

The beetle with the heart of gold or, one of her many names, Tiny Pebble. My better two thirds is the inspiration for this one. She is one, of which there is a sizable yet relatively small number, that quietly contributes to the magic in this world.

LP has a top notch song called Lost on You. It is a crime for me to deprive you of the lyrics but it would be an even bigger crime for me to sing them to you.

Cairo had never been to Jan Lake Lodge, and neither had I, but we have this song inspired by it. More by my friend Dobro who is an exceptional agent of good. He was once fixing an enormous truck. Well, he was under the hood for quite some time and eventually merged with the truck much like one would in an NFB cartoon. We were all worried until the storm that came that evening managed to shake him loose. He seemed like the same old Dobro after that except that he owned a lodge from that point forward and he suddenly was able to fix all broken down motor vehicles by massaging their parts and reciting random dialog from __. If one drives five and a half hours north of Saskatoon they may take the right twists and turns that land them at Jan Lake Lodge. My old friend Dobro's summer headquarters. He has no underground lair but he does play a mean banjo. Whatever monsters lurk above the treeline in Saskatchewan; they are all soothed by his banjo. My old friend is now the subject of legends far and wide but what I tell you in these liner notes is no tall tale. It is a tale that is exactly as tall as I am and as wide as you can discern at any point during your visit to a house of mirrors.

OK (small bye-bye version) is the final track. I insist on squeezing more mileage out of this one. If you listen a little bit closely you will hear the hail that was coming down about eight feet from the microphone on that lovely Sunday.

That is all. Thank you for listening.

Cairo never knew any elephants. I do not think he ever knew any cats beyond his first two months. He was a good boy with a beautiful heart who got confused once in a while and this could make his talons come out. They never came out when me and him hung out on the porch though.

This EP is dedicated to Cairo (March 30, 2012–February 8, 2019).

Now for the thank-yous:

Very special thanks to Ryan “Paddy” Patterson, Jordan “Ian” Safer, Howie Shia, Tim Shia, William, Ravi, Tim, Michael Greenfield, and Idle on Bloor (Hien, Duc, Tony).

We moved laterally to another thank-you of equal importance that includes Joe, Veronika, Janet, Ron, Karl, Ben, Sam, Noah, Kim, Vicki Fraser, Chloe Watkinson, Rhonda Stakich, Ian Sinclair, Jenn Raudmann, Bryce Allen, David Sheridan, Nate Renner, Mip, J-Grimm, and Dobro.

Sincere gratitude to my precious family on all sides with my main thanks going to Rachael Schultz.

…and Tony McManus, Charlie Banacos, Mark White, Garrison Fewell, Steve Carter, Lee Kozak, and Allen Ayers. I am a terrible student who has had wonderful teachers.