The Flypaper Orchestra is a loose affiliation of musicians, artists, and performers devoted to bending genres and giving new life to songs, both classic and obscure. Its first project, called Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Old Songs for a New Depression, puts together the diverse talents of Canadians Jim Byrnes, Luke Doucet, Colleen Rennison, Jim Cuddy, Adam Cohen and Dalannah Gail Bowen with California blues-guitar legend Robben Ford and U.K.-based singer Nina Miranda to name a few. These tunes of the 1930s, re-imagined for modern audiences by co-producers Ken Eisner and Joe Cruz, are built on the work of top side-men, such as bassist René Worst and percussionist Raphael Geronimo.
The songs on Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Old Songs for a New Depression have been chosen to present a range of colours and emotions relating to the spectrum of life, as it was perceived by various strata’s of North Americans of the 1930s. Songs like ‘Pennies From Heaven’ and the title tune comment directly, or at least ironically, on the evaporation of material security for most. Some compositions, such as ‘I Ain’t Got No Home in This World Anymore’, convey the plight of the poorest blacks and rural whites, while others, notably ‘Flamingo’ and ‘Temptation’, reflect a growing, often confused, perception of the ‘exotic’ outside world, with whiffs of Asia, Africa, and Latin America thrown together in a potpourri of foreign influences—all of which still simmer in the popular music of today.