Toronto, I'm coming for you.

 L to R: David, moi, and Caleb Stull jammed into a photo booth in Vancouver.

L to R: David, moi, and Caleb Stull jammed into a photo booth in Vancouver.

Ontario, I will forsake you no longer.

This Thursday I'll let loose a string of April and May dates that I'm taking on with Blaker and Bryce at my side, but for tonight...

I want to tell you about someone who's hosting a show for me in Toronto on April 29th.

I met David Newberry in a foggy past – maybe at a house concert in Regina, maybe some occasion previous. I'm not sure. But once we met it was soon clear that dude had roots all over the country. Everyone I met knew him. Everyone I met had toured with him. And no one had a bad word to say.

My favourite example of this phenomenon happened in 2013 at a house concert I played in Nelson, BC. When I mentioned Dave to the host, James Lamb, a tip jar was retrieved and thrust in my direction. I was encouraged to make a donation. So many people had randomly mentioned Newbs to James that he decided we should all pony up to honour Dave's contributions to our scene and community. (Tip jar proof!)

In my eyes, David's music has always reflected who he is: provocative, cerebral, irreverent – but always accessible, and with deep honesty at the core. I spent the week after Folk Alliance 2014 singing his words, "I swear I just saw Freddy Mercury..." I dare you to try listening to that song and not have the same happen to you.

So, Toronto, would you join us on April 29th – Dave's birthday no less – for songs and hangs? I'd sure like to have you there to meet and celebrate and make merry. Details here.

how it started...

The Unrequited Love turns two.

 L to R: Karl Valiaho (sax), Elizabeth Curry (bass), Jeremy Sauer (keys), Tyler Hammer (drums), moi, Cheney Lambert (trumpet), Anna Rose (vocals), Chris Sleightholm (electric guitar).

L to R: Karl Valiaho (sax), Elizabeth Curry (bass), Jeremy Sauer (keys), Tyler Hammer (drums), moi, Cheney Lambert (trumpet), Anna Rose (vocals), Chris Sleightholm (electric guitar).

I had a booking in Swift Current on February 15, 2014 at The Lyric Theatre. A Saturday night. And when you have a gig with an eight piece band on a Saturday night, you may as well have one for Friday night too... and why not record the show?! And then release an album! Yeah!!! Ideas are like glitter! They just get all up in everything, and are hard as hell to get rid of.

So, that meant a gig on February 14th. Barf. What to do?

I did not want to be the date night for Valentine's that year. I tried that once and I ended up getting all snarky and sour... and then made myself sick by eating too much of the venue's cheesecake. My solution was to name the eight piece The Unrequited Love and gather up an audience who were cynical. Y'know, like me.

People still made it a date night. My cynicism could not dampen their love – which is a blessing in hindsight. And other people came out because they were down with my inner curmudgeon. Were even thankful for my un-Valentine-ness. Somehow it all worked exceedingly well – the weekend of shows and the recording.

Posters for the 2014 concert recording and 2016 record release.
Left by Caribou Creative, right by Terri Fidelak.

Afterwards, the live recording was attentively edited, mixed, and remixed thanks to collaborations with Jeremy Sauer, Elizabeth Curry, and tireless engineer/magician, Orion Paradis at SoulSound. We mastered it up, and I planned a release show at The Artesian for March 5th, 2016. The creation of The Unrequited Love was the first time I felt like a producer, and it's cause I friggin' well earned that title.

After two years of promoting The Unrequited Love I've reflected again and again on what the title means. The album's artwork conveys the feelings I had about the music industry at the time: cold, vast and difficult to navigate for an independent, self-represented songwriter. But inside? That's where the fire is for me. Where my heart thrives, and where I'm able to give what talents I have in this world over to the generous folks who see the merits of having a good singing voice.

In these years I've learned that you can love a career in the music industry all you like, but it ain't never gonna love you back the way you want. And honestly? I don't give a sniff. I can love hard enough to appreciate it for what it is. And I know I have y'all at my side.

Thanks for your love and support, and for helping me hang on tight. And a special shout-out to the artists that worked away at this with me, hitherto unmentioned: Chris Haynes on the live recording, the folks at the Artesian on 13th for the venue, Monique Blom on the album artwork, April McDougald on the photo shoot hair, Avril Biggin on the graphic design, Danni Knox on the photo shoot make-up, Carey Shaw on the album photography, and Total Sonic Media on the mastering.



last year at this time


A year ago today I took the stage with Bryce and Blake, and sang my face off for a packed theatre of Dwight Yoakam fans. It was a weird night at points – in particular, Dwight started well over an hour after we wrapped. But we did get to see the rhinestoned jackets, and all his signature moves. And I did hear a crowd singing along with me during our version of "Mercury Blues"...

A great night of memories for us, forever and ever.