Hello everyone, thanks for checking in for another week ....
Not another songwriters evening I hear you say, what's so special that he keeps on about Four Chords and The Truth ?
There is a plethora of songwriters evenings it seems all over Toronto now.
All over Canada songwriters sit in a circle and sing songs and tell intimate stories and have done for years, you can see this at bars, clubs, festivals, TV.... all over the world it seems folks are catching on to this form of entertainment, based on the Bluebird Cafe experience in Nashville. What makes this one so special ?
When you write a song you never know how it's going to be received, you hope folks are going to like it, sometimes they don't, but, just sometimes the song takes on a life of it's own and grows into something you never dreamed it would. You look at the song and think to yourself, why did this song mean so much ? I have another six or seven that I had written which I thought were better but they never caught on.
The secret I believe lies not just in one answer, it's about the mood that's captured, the atmosphere at the time, the formula you used to put that song together, the story you were trying to tell and so much more, it's something that cannot be quantified, and should not be analyzed, because even if you knew the secret you could never replicate that special moment when it came together.
Four Chords & The Truth is very much like that song, it's special, it's formula is a secret potion of top class songwriters from all across Canada, from a multitude of genres, that on one special night every quarter come out of the shadows and onto the hallowed stage at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto to perform the most intimate of shows to an audience that bought tickets not knowing who was going to appear, that in itself is incredible, that a show can sell out before the artists are announced, it also adds even more to the mystique that is Four Chords, there is, I believe, a good reason for this, read on...
I have attended literally hundreds of songwriter events, I love them, it's probably my favourite form of entertainment, I have been attending this event since it's inception in 2015, so what keeps me coming back ?
I am lucky enough to be able to chat with the artists for our radio show after the event, and what comes across always is that the performers are so pleased that an audience are so receptive to their songs, are on the edge of their chairs listening to the stories and show their appreciation afterwards with huge applause, in fact many of the artists have been wanting to appear for a long time and when it's their turn you can feel their excitement of being a part of a special experience, they trust Andrea England to put together a wonderful show.
The venue has everything to do with this special night, those not familiar with The Dakota might walk down the steps look through the darkness at the stage and think, wow, I expected a bigger place, the stage stares at you as soon as you walk in with it's seventies disco ball shimmering above it, the bar is inviting and the staff even more so, friendlier folk you could not wish to meet, it's a comfortable feeling down those steps, it feels like you belong.
When you arrive after attending a couple of these shows you begin to recognize familiar faces and begin to exchange pleasantries, friendships are made and you say farewell until the next quarter, there is a real sense of community that has developed, it seems that everyone comes along for the same reason, to hear the song and the story behind it.
That's when the real genius of the night begins to dawn on me, it's something I have thought and wondered about for a long time as I see other similar events spring up, Four Chords has Andrea England !
I compare it to a soccer coach, there are thousands of them but there is only one who can lead a team to lift the world cup, that coach has the knowledge of the sport, has the trust of the team and the fans and knows how to treat each team member with respect to get the best performance from them, it's an art form, and like every punter in the stands at a soccer match, we all think we can do the job better until we give it a go, to make it seamless and look effortless is a gift.
Andrea moves in many circles because of her work as a performer, songwriter, supporter of Canadian music and musicians in many genres, she has a magic formula it seems of picking just the right people on each night that compliment and enhance the other performers, it's something that can't be quantified, cannot be replicated, and should never be analyzed, she has the magic touch, the trust of the performers and the trust of the Four Chords community that grows and grows, everyone is welcomed whether it's a first visit or someone who has been to every event, and to everyone who attends it's all about the song !
Who will be performing this evening ?
For the past two years Jadea has been travelling between Nashville, Los Angeles and Toronto touring and recording her thoughts of her experiences in songs that will be released in 2019 on a brand new album.
Here is a song from her album ' Clover '
Wendell has won the Canadian Country Music Association's "Guitar Player of the Year" 6 times. Along with 3 more wins for "Back-up Band of the Year," plus a Ontario Country Performer and Fan Association award for "Career Musician". To quote him "Not bad for a guy who hasn't worked a day in his life".
Known for his intense, roiling live performance, signature soaring vocals and warm on stage humour, soulful, New Brunswick based roots artist Mike Biggar is a definitive natural live performer. Add to this an unmistakably gutsy, bluesy delivery, reflective of his own childhood roots in gospel music that still seep through the seams of his mainstream career. Then underline it all with infectious melodies and compelling, soul-baring lyrics, and it becomes clear why Biggar is described as a unique breed of singer-songwriter.
Veteran of the Western Canadian music scene, Stewart is the Songwriter and Front Man of Calgary's popular Western Roots group the Northern Beauties. In 2016 he received a pair of awards, Western Canadian Music Award for Roots Group/ Duo of the year and a YYC Music Award for Folk Recording of the year. Showcasing Nationally and Internationally in Europe & the U.S with a recent feature in Nashville at the legendary BlueBird Cafe, his songs have broken out of the local walls of Calgary.
So there we have it, another stellar line up to look forward to if you are fortunate enough to have a ticket to this sold out event.
For future events it's best to book a ticket in advance, here is the website for more information, and if you would like to hear our behind the scenes shows on Blues and roots Radio there is an archive to catch up and find out what all the fuss is about.
Four Chords Website
Blues and Roots Radio Four Chords Show Archives
Until next week