I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon in the dead of winter than being entertained by 5 wonderful singer/songwriter artists jamming like they were sitting around a campfire on a beach in the summertime. Great music, wonderful stories...........many laughs and a few very poignant songs that made you well up with the same emotions etched in the melody and on their faces as they were sung. The songwriter's circle, a big part of the East Coast Music Awards weekend was everything I had expected and more. The seating was general admission, as it was last night at the Playhouse. And even though we were first in line.........not even close to it........the front row seats were still vacant by the time we entered the venue! How bizarre is that?? I think it's a Canadian "nice" thing......or not wanting to be conspicuous or something.....why else would the front row seats be left vacant?
So, for the second time............I sat in the same seat in the front row. This time, however, I had my camera with me. And this time............I had my kids with me. They were as blown away by our front row entertainment as I was.
David Myles, who hosted the afternoon is a Frederictonian and the songwriter who penned and sings "When it comes my turn" Click here to listen to his upbeat song. Every single person in the audience knows the chorus and we all sang along. It was great to finally see him perform live.
Damhnait Doyle from Newfoundland. What an amazing voice and presence. I have wanted to see her live ever since I heard her singing on the CBC a couple of years ago. Her songs took us deep into her yearnings. Her voice, songs AND sense of humour reminded me of Jann Arden.
Jean Francois Breau from Tracadie Sheila on the Acadian Pennisula in Northern New Brunswick. He is very well known in the francophone communities, and most likely in France and Quebec. And yet, this native New Brunswicker is new to us Anglos........ I am completely bowled over by his beautiful sensuous voice, and by the songs he shared with us. One song was written about Hurricane Katrina and the loss and devastation felt by the people of New Orleans. There is a strong tie between Acadians in New Brunswick and Lousiana.
Thom Swift, also a native Freddy beach guy and a member of the well known band Hot Toddy. Thom has a deep baritone voice, perfect for bluesy ballads. He recently has been touring solo for a change..........his solo CD won an award at the Maple Blues Awards last month. It was such a treat to listen to him sing this afternoon, interact with the others and tell a few stories.
If I Had a Million Dollars.........
We have adopted this guy and made him an honourary Maritimer for the weekend. He's in town taping various gigs and interviews as well as hosting the awards show to be broadcasted in early March. This afternoon, he joined the 4 Maritimers in the circle. Loved it! What a funny, witty, talent man. And there he was.....right in front of us! My son was entranced whenever Page sang or was telling one of his funny stories. It appears that their sense of humour was very similar.
Truly a wonderful afternoon...........................and I'm going again tomorrow for another circle of song with 5 new folks. Hope my front row seat is still available!