The IMC Magazine Issue 14/April 2016 - Page 24

Play Gordon Lightfoot.' Here I was in this beautiful open air restaurant in Mexico by the beach with all these Canadians singing Canadian music. It was lots of fun.

Do you have a band or partner you perform and travel with?

You know, I've played with a lot of people on and off. Playing with another band member is like dating. It's really difficult to find the right person. And it's not just about talent. And it's not just about good looks. It's something more. It's like a chemistry that has to happen. You have to get along.

Do they add to your music? Do they take away from it?

Lately, I found a really good guitarist. His name is Nono Solarte. He's been playing with me regularly. He's great. He's just a fantastic acoustic guitarist. I bring new songs that I've written to him and he just makes them better with what he adds to it. He adds beautiful things to it.

I happen to love all of your songs - so it's hard for me to pick a favorite, though 'Why Don't You Care' may get my attention a little more than the rest. Is there a particular favorite you have or one that you like to perform the most?

It's hard. they're like all my babies. Right? All my children. I can't love one more than the other. But I guess I kind of do, in terms of playing, performing myself, I love playing 'Through My Window' and that's off my latest album, 'Strong Enough For Love'.

On the album we kept it just me and my guitar. We didn't add any other instruments to it. It's like a simple lullaby. Something happens when I play it, it just puts me in the moment. It's like I lose sense of time and space. It's kind of like being in a bubble, just me and the song. That one's really special to me to play.

I'd like to ask you about your song 'Lost' - you describe it as one of your 'deepest songs?' Why is that?

Yes, interesting you picked that one out. I wrote that song and I look back at it and I know that I wrote it but I can't believe that I wrote it. You know, I'm not usually very good with words. When I wrote the song it's like it came through me. It feels like it came from somewhere else and I'm just a channel to write it down on a piece of paper and present it to people.

I wrote it during a very deep time in my life because I left a job that I had for 8 years. I left a relationship that I had for 12 years. I left the house, I left the car, I left everything at that time. It was just kinda me, my guitar and a backpack and I moved out, back to Toronto. I felt lost.

Gordon Lightfoot has always been one of my favorite Folk artists, Canadian or otherwise. Recently you got to perform with his long time bass player Rick Dutkiewicz Haynes and John Stinson - lead singer of the Gordon Lightfoot tribute band. What was that like?

That's correct. That was amazing. That was like a dream come true. I remember we were practicing upstairs in the venue before the show and I thought 'This is so amazing.' I looked at my friend Harpin' Norm who performed with me at that show and we were just in awe.

It was just so great. John Stinson sounds a lot like Gordon Lightfoot so I got to sing with him a duet of 'If You Could Read My Mind'. And Rick Haynes, of course, playing bass with us as well. Rick was so great, what a great person. It was so nice of him to do this with me.

A little while before the show, we went to hang out at his house and shoot the breeze with him and that was just so priceless for me. He had all these stories and all these tips for me and inspiration. It was so wonderful to spend time with him.

You have your own show entitled 'Midweek Uplifter - Songs That Inspire'. Tell us about that.

I have playing live online for quite a while on web site called Street Jelly. That's the word street and the word on Monday nights. It's been going really well. It's great because I get fans from all over the world who can watch and normally I wouldn't be able to reach.

Now I'm going to do shows on Concert Window as well mid-week. The thing that happens on Monday nights is people can watch at home, you can put your feet up. You can grab a drink. You can be in your pajamas. It doesn't matter, right? Just relaxing and watching from home. People say 'thank you for your music, it's uplifting. I had a horrible day at work but now I feel better'. So that's why I'm doing mid week up lifter shows too. A lot of my music has powerful messages behind it and I try to pick songs with uplifting words and lyrics.