Ryan McAllister: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…

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Ryan McAllister, what a treat. Truly, he is an artist to be reckoned with. The once front man of a high profile Canadian rock band on the rise, his resolve to lead a life centered around family, faith and music is something to behold. As only he could attest, choices that ultimately forced a life of fame and fortune out of reach in turn provided him with opportunities to carve a path that has brought him tremendous fulfillment. Although he jokes about what could have been, he does so with an air of understanding of what it would have meant if it had.

On a hand crafted stage in the heart of a home bursting with love and friendship, Ryan proved that music lives. It lives in the stories he so effortlessly shared through his songs and words with the audience. It lives in the notes of his multiple guitars he switched over through the coarse of the night. It lives in the way we took in every word, every note, every tone, to get lost in the web he weaved. Ryan McAllister is beloved by this venue and his presence only solidified the force this place has created among music enthusiasts. His genius songwriting and quick wit has earned him a place in the hearts of all who have come to call Serenity home. As he embarks on the development of a new album, along with a much anticipated visit to Africa to record with a village of children in efforts to raise awareness and funds to build infrastructure to support their future, Ryan McAllister has embraced a life of endless possibilities coupled with a healthy dose of uncertainty and self-doubt. He is honest, humble, hilarious, and most importantly, has really great hair. What more can you ask for?


His debut independent album is entitled “Music For a Rainy Town,” and the following are a few of my choice tracks: “Bell Tower”: Hauntingly beautiful, this song reminds me of lost love and a darkness of the heart that is hard to shake; “This Black Heart”: A pop-like tune with a chorus that is catchy and resonates instantly; “I Believe”: This feel-good track written for his wife lifts the spirit in hopes of what love can feel like.

Ryan McAllister performed at Serenity Performing Arts Centre on March 6, 2015.

Visit http://www.ryanmcallister.com for links to his social media feeds, music downloads and more. Check out Ryan’s other music project, his critically acclaimed band North Country Gentlemen at http://www.northcountrygentlemen.com

To learn more about Ryan’s world as a music producer, visit his Five Acres studio in Abbotsford, BC. http://fiveacresmusic.tumblr.com/

Ryan’s bandmate and good friend Jeremy Friesen is an incredible musician and person who has been dealt a mighty obstacle and it would mean a lot to Ryan and the entire Serenity team for you to provide your support. http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-the-friesen-family/309568

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Cory Woodward: “Bear”

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Two weeks ago my aunt went into the hospital. She was suffering with the advanced stages of liver disease. We thought we had lost her, but after four days in a coma she woke up and hope was renewed.

I attended Cory’s show during those days of miracles.  I remember his music filled my swelling heart. His voice was like an answer to prayer, and his stories of love and redemption seemed like signs of what could be.  He was a testament to the power of love and how it transforms. Like people witness to their faith, Cory witnesses to love, pure and simple.  He has wonderful stories, and if you get yourself to a show you will be sure to hear them. But I am not going to share them here. I know I should, because that is what I am supposed to write about, him as an artist and his performance. But I can’t. Because he is not who I thought about when I listened to his songs tonight, the first time I have allowed myself to truly “listen” to music in almost a week.

The day after his show I found out the doctors had given my aunt 3-10 days to live. Everything we had started to believe in was shattered. All interventions were stopped and she was moved to palliative care.

Cory’s show haunted me. I did not want to listen to the music that had filled me with hope, and I feared what it may force me to face now, or more accurately, to feel.

I spoke to my aunt last night. I heard her voice and saw her face. She even smiled and laughed a little. I received an email this morning from her husband, my uncle. It was only a few lines, thanking me for some words I had written about her that my mother had forwarded on to him and my cousins. They have been reading them aloud to her over the past few days. In his last line he wrote, “I was so very lucky to have met and married her. She means everything to me.” His words hung in the air like a weight I couldn’t move.

I went to my music library, opened Cory’s album “Bear” and pressed play. The tears came instantly as I knew they would. I hadn’t cried until that very moment. Each song seemed to tell the story of my aunt’s life. The songs and his voice held me and my fears of letting her go.

Tonight I forced myself to try and write about the show, but what I wrote were the first lines in this piece.

I can’t remember the details of Cory’s performance, the stories behind his music or our conversation that night. His songs are no longer his, they are hers.

I don’t know if I should be apologizing for this, it is hardly a “review” in any certain   terms.  But this is all I have to give, and it might be the most I ever will.

mary lou 2 Dedicated to my beloved aunt, Mary Lou Smith. 

To hear and download Cory Woodward’s new EP “Bear” visit http://www.corywoodward.com

To stay up to date on his tour dates and other music news, “like” his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/cory.woodward

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Jon Bryant: A year later…


Expectation. It can teach you a lot about yourself. What we expect of ourselves, and what we expect from others are reminders of what we seek and desire, but can also bring us to a place of acceptance of what we can and cannot control.

Last weekend, Jon Bryant returned to Serenity one year after his first show at the venue. His previous show had been high energy. Jon had been met with a lively crowd, he fed off this, brought people up on stage, and the night ended up feeling like one big party.

On this night, I entered the house to find a quiet crowd, all nestled in their seats, or sinking into them for that matter. It was a relatively small group, but considering the venue hosts house concerts, this is par for the course.

Jon took to the stage, sat down and greeted the audience with a soft and gentle presence. Immediately, the expectation I had in my mind was challenged and I had to switch gears instantly. Fortunately, I responded to the subdued nature of the show, as it had been one of those nights I could have stayed home curled up in my pajamas. Jon later told me he felt the same way. I had made a commitment to be there, and I always take something away from a show. For Jon, it was much the same, he had made a commitment to us and was here to honour that.

jon at serenty

What we often forget as an audience is what it takes both physically and emotionally for an artist to get up on stage and perform, even on the days they feel 100%, but much more so on the days when they do not.

Jon Bryant had spent the last week in the studio, recording tracks for his next album. He hadn’t planned any shows other than ours around this time because he knew he would be exhausted and drained from his time in the studio. He literally walked out of the studio and drove 5 hours to perform for a handful of people in a living room.

After the show I pulled him aside to catch up. Much to the surprise of many artists, I don’t prepare any questions and I never write anything down. My approach to these pieces is simple. I experience the show, and then I attempt to engage in a natural conversation with the artist. Sometimes that conversation flows instantly and can last for hours, other times it doesn’t and is more of a brief chat. Either way, it is authentic, because I want it to be reflective of real life.

For Jon on this night, it was clear that the days leading up to his trip here had taken their toll. He was tired, but there was something else; disappointment, uncertainty, I couldn’t tell, and I didn’t pry. If the energy had been different there were a lot of questions I would have asked that crossed my mind but the moment just didn’t seem right. I trust my instincts with this now. Sometimes the artists are ready to dig deep into anything, sometimes they aren’t.

jon bryant serenity stage

Here’s what I will say. Jon came to us at a time of transition. He has just come through an intense artist development competition (BC’s Peak Performance Project), is starting to record a new album, is in a new relationship, and is relocating to a new city. He is an artist with a big heart, and I could feel all of these things weighing on it. Not necessarily in a bad way, there is an element of excitement and anticipation attached to change, but as we all know it also comes with a healthy dose of anxiousness and unpredictability.

When I returned home after the show, I felt a strong pull to go back to his early recordings.  For the past week I have been listening to Jon’s debut album, “Two Coasts For Comfort.” Interestingly, I didn’t respond to it following the first time seeing him perform, whereas his 2012 release “What Takes You” has been on steady rotation in my home ever since. However, I have a new found reverence for his early material amid a time when he is looking to move forward. “Deaf” is one of the most beautiful songs that I have emotionally connected to in a long time. I keep going back to it day after day. There is something about it that breaks my heart but also fills me with hope. “Texas Tea” has this killer intro and a chorus that has me singing along to every word.

I have been reflecting on how songs begin to take on new meanings for artists after years of sharing them with an audience and experiencing new things in life. A love song that was so personal at one time can turn into something else entirely. Comparing how he performed certain songs a year later in terms of tempo, volume, and intensity of their delivery completely changed how they were received and interpreted as an audience. There were a few songs I barely recognized even though I know he performed them last year and I have listened to them countless times on his record. These moments reminded me of the true artistry of singer/songwriters, who continue to experiment with music they create in order to discover new layers and express themselves in different ways.

Ironically, as I was sensing this overwhelming time of change, Jon shared it was his birthday the day before. Interesting. In the spirit of new beginnings, here’s to a year filled with inspirations that fuel the spirit of this artist whose songs speak truths that are felt near and far. Happy (belated) Birthday Jon.

jon in igloo

Jon Bryant performed at Serenity Performing Arts Centre on January 24, 2015 (no, he did not perform in our venue’s custom built igloo, although something to consider for a future show.).



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How do you describe a feeling or experience? Okay, well obviously with words. But words just don’t cut it sometimes. This might be why corporations have made up slogans like “Generation Image” because we now rely so heavily on visual time capsules to immortalize each and every moment for us to relive over and over again.

With this blog, my attempt to find the words to place what I experience at live music shows is done to help solidly imprint them into the most precious vault there is, my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I love photos, and, big surprise, I keep an avid journal, but I see these things as the necessary tools for keeping my visual memory in top form, because second to the experience itself, nothing beats closing your eyes and remembering it.

People often ask what prompted me to start writing about the shows I attend at Serenity Performing Arts Centre. To be honest, it just sort of happened. I write about a lot of things that I observe, experience or feel, and the shows just started to become a part of that narrative. But unlike the majority of my writing that I do strictly for my own therapeutic purposes, I started to see that there may be value in sharing my reflections on what was happening at Serenity, primarily to raise awareness about the uniqueness of the venue and also to showcase the caliber of artists performing there.

As for my opinions about the music, I have said it before and I will say it again, I consistently approach each show with the intention to enjoy myself and respect and appreciate what is being shared and communicated by the artist in that moment. I have my favourites of course, but I tend to keep that fairly close to my chest. And there is no question that my familiarity with a band can add to their appeal. The more I see them perform, listen to their albums, and in my lucky case, get to know them off the stage, the more personal their performance becomes.  But isn’t that what every artist wants to achieve? To find a way for their music to become personal to an audience? Because this is what builds a career after all.

I was speaking to Greg Drummond after his show last week about the plans for releasing his new album, the marketing approach he is taking and how he is branding the new sound.  I “talk shop” with many of the artists and find this side of their careers interesting, and there is no doubt those who are in this industry for the long haul are now required to have savvy business skills. But I also told Greg that I don’t want to think of him or anyone else as a product. I want to get lost in his show because I have made a conscious decision about liking him and his music. As much as artists need to take control of their careers, we as listeners need to take control much the same. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we just buying what they are selling?” or are we making a choice based on what we are connecting to on a real level with their music and persona. I think it is important to become more educated about artists and what they stand for, what they represent, and what they are choosing to spend their time writing about, and ask yourself “Do I relate to that?” It’s one thing to like a beat you hear on the radio, it’s another to spend your hard earned money to travel to their shows, buy their albums and merchandise, promote them to your friends and family and spend the spare time you don’t have writing about their music. That’s the difference. That’s what true connection is all about. It doesn’t matter how small of a fan base they start out with, every band starts out with a few fans, it’s nurturing the connection they have with those few that can turn a spark into a fire. How large that fire becomes is dependent on so many variables, including relentless hard work, that elusive hit song, and let’s not forget, a little bit of luck.

I hope these pieces help even a few people feel closer to the artists they have chosen to connect to and whose music has made a significant impression on their lives. We should never underestimate what music can do, from expanding our hearts to influencing our innermost selves. It truly is a beautiful gift.

adamsons fall 2014 005Photo courtesy of Greenscapes Photography (That’s my son by the way, he is 4 years old. To say he has a passion for music is the understatement of the year.  Since infancy he has connected with music in a way that has given him a foundation of self that I am still striving to find as an adult.  Talk about a gift.).

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Greg Drummond: A New Year, A New Album

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There is something to be said for being patient. There is also something to be said for perfect timing. Sometimes you need to wait for things to line up just right.  Recently completing his second studio album, Greg Drummond has just launched an Indiegogo campaign to assist with the marketing and distribution of his new album “Drive,” a fitting name for it has taken just that to get him where he is today.  With one of his new songs entitled “Our Time Is Now,” you can bet Greg Drummond and his band have their sights set on making a lasting mark.

Since leaving a high paying corporate sales job years ago to pursue a career in music, Greg Drummond hasn’t looked back since.  That isn’t to say there haven’t been bumps in the road, but with confidence in his songwriting ability, and a tenacity to build a band for the long haul, Greg Drummond has been patient with the process in order to ensure he was following what he felt was right. As a result, he has surrounded himself with musicians whose extensive knowledge base and ability to perform an eclectic array of instruments has added to the creative composition of each song and helped to develop the versatility of his sound.

greg drummond jan

It was no coincidence that Greg Drummond was booked to play Serenity’s first show of 2015.  It was a decision venue owner Shirley de Vooght consciously made to start the new year off with a bang by showcasing a high calibre artist that has come to mean a great deal to her and all of us here at the venue.

In the week leading up to the show, I sent out a tweet naming Greg our “favourite leading man.” In a nutshell, he is a tall, dark and handsome songwriter whose voice feels like home. He can charm the socks off an audience within moments, and has natural talent bursting at the seams. When speaking to band member Michael Lothian after the show, he shared the story of his friendship with Drummond, one that predates the band by quite a few years. Lothian made a point to say that people have always been drawn to Greg, “He has a magnetism, a strong sense of what he wants, and an intense drive to achieve it.”  Michael followed this by saying, “I, on the other hand, am the exact opposite.”


Michael Lothian is the understated genius of the band, whose variety of instrumental talents (trumpet, keys, accordion, etc.) have greatly contributed to the accomplishments of Greg Drummond’s music. A self-proclaimed nerd, Lothian’s kind nature and quirky character are effortlessly endearing. He’s a keeper.


Mike Meroniuk is the hip, young axe player whose jaw-dropping riffs define his unabashed star power. No question, some of his guitar and mandolin solos take the songs to an entirely different level; insane madness is what comes to mind (translation: get ready to go crazy over how damn good he is).


For this particular show, drummer Alanna Pearce and bassist Marcus Abramzik were unable to make it. Alanna has been here many times. We adore her and want to be her all at the same time. The petite blonde belle’s presence is always a welcomed treat on and off the stage. Marcus, however, remains elusive to our venue. He is the newest member of the band and Drummond can’t say enough about him, including how his experience and talent has raised everyone’s game.   Nothing like hype to live up to, but we are sure he will meet our expectations and then some. Although we missed having the band here in its entirety, it was fun to see the music take on a different energy as a trio and it worked in a house concert format, but we can’t wait for them to turn it up a notch when the full band hits the outdoor stage on the acreage once again for Harvest Fest 2015.

Although they were missing two of their band members, this show turned into one of the most memorable nights to date. When this band is here, the light-heartedness they bring makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside.  I treasured the feeling of falling in love with the new songs while finding comfort in the ones I already know by heart.  Over and above the sold out crowd and their tailored performance, it was the moments spent afterwards, sharing stories and good vibes with one another that made the night what it was.  Not to reveal too much of our Serenity secrets, but the show’s after party consisted of sitting around the kitchen table passing out multiple bottles of champagne for people to take a swig from after saying something they loved and appreciated about someone else in the room.  What can I say, this is how we get our kicks out here in the sticks.


At the end of the day, Greg Drummond is positioning himself as an artist that is gaining a mounting number of tireless and generous fans who will continue to promote and support his music for as long as he chooses to create it, and you can’t put a price on that.

To encourage you to donate towards the Indiegogo campaign, here are a few of my choice tracks on the new album “Drive.” After getting the chance to listen to it from front to back following their live show, the June 2015 release is a rather taunting date.

Against the Sun: Their live performance of this song stood out instantly. The lyrics and melody tug down deep; my kind of song; Drive: Choosing this as the album’s title track was a smart choice. It sets the tone for the whole album. The chorus is a winner, I dig it a whole lot; The Jasper: This last minute addition was a brilliant one. Instrumentals are some of the most underrated songs by recording artists. This song takes you on a ride from start to finish. Get ready to day dream; Worse For Wear: I know many listeners may not pay attention to song order on albums with the way music is being streamed nowadays, but I savor the nostalgia of listening to an album from beginning to end. This track is how to end an album, it builds until the last note. Satisfaction achieved.                              Honourable mention – Lily: Although they played it live, I didn’t fully pay attention to the lyrics until I listened to the recording. My daughter’s name is Lily, and I can already predict this song is going to become a cherished family favourite.

To be quite honest, depending on the day and my mood at the time, I could have listed any one of the songs on the album.  It is that good.  Get excited.

Greg Drummond performed at Serenity Performing Arts Centre on January 17, 2015.

To learn about the plans for the release of Greg Drummond’s new album “Drive,” and to take advantage of some exclusive perks, visit and support the band on their Indiegogo page at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/greg-drummond-drive-campaign#home

For links to music downloads, social media feeds and more, visit http://www.gregdrummond.com

Photos courtesy of Creative Copper Images, Steve Mechem and Jessica Gunn.

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Windmills and JP Maurice: A reason to celebrate my birthday

Over the past week I’ve spent some time writing about experiences from my recent holidays spent visiting family and friends in the Kelowna area, which included taking in some live music.


On my last night in town, Kelowna based artist Windmills was opening for Vancouver’s JP Maurice at Fernando’s Pub. I had been dying to see Windmills perform live for the past year (it was honestly one of my 2014 New Year’s resolutions), and I have become a growing and curious fan surrounding the mystique of JP Maurice, including his producing and collaborative work with other artists.

At the last minute I rounded up a group of old friends to celebrate my birthday, something I never do because it is on Christmas Day. It ended up being this randomly interconnected mix of people from my past who came together; somehow an excuse to drink with people you have rarely seen in the past 10 years always seems like a great idea.

The problem with staging a reunion of friends at a show you actually want to see is it makes it rather challenging to focus on the show at all. This is a fact I realized too late. The other fact was that Fernando’s is relatively small, albeit a fantastic ambiance with great food, drinks, and friendly staff, but like any popular hot spot, it was crowded and noisy, certain patrons become obnoxious after a certain hour, and unless you are standing in the five feet of space in front of the stage, you are basically attempting to listen to the music in the middle of a raging house party.

I did convince a friend or two to join me up near the stage and also went up on my own for a few songs, but by the end of the night I was reminded how difficult it is to focus on a live performance in a crowded bar. I also considered if I ever truly want to focus on a show in this type of environment, I probably shouldn’t invite friends who I want to talk to all night (note to self: start working on my self confidence to go see a show at a bar by myself).

What I have been reflecting on the most is how artists are performing night after night in venues just like this one, and although it was difficult to hear the music over all of the socializing, they still performed the hell out of their sets. I love listening to stories from bands who gauge a song by how busy the bartender is, or how much louder the talking gets, or by how many people have looked towards the stage at all. Clearly I have become ridiculously spoiled over the last year and a half to see music performed live at my local venue, Serenity Performing Arts Centre. It has basically ruined going out to see music anywhere else.

Although there is still something to be said about hearing live music being played in the background of a social event, I have become too aware of how hard they are working and the dedication it has taken them to be able to do what they are doing. To sit and carry on a conversation while someone is sharing their life’s work has come to feel increasingly terrible.


For what it’s worth, I have made another resolution to see Windmills play in 2015. He was lovely by the way. His stage persona is the perfect blend of self deprecation and sweet charm. There were a few unfortunate technical sound difficulties during his set, but ironically the surrounding atmosphere helped in this particular instance.  I easily picked up on the pockets of his fan base in the room. As a local artist, he clearly has a strong following and for good reason. The guy has indie star written all over him. From his effortless style to his songs that sink into your bones, I have no doubt seeing him perform in a listening room type venue would be fairly mind blowing. His full length album “Keep Moving” continues to reveal new layers and sparks a deeper interest with each subsequent play; it is one of my go-to albums for when I feel the need to question every choice I have ever made in my life and dwell on the things I have become professional at suppressing. With the release of his single “Face To A Name” this past year, anticipation has been building for the new music to come from this self-described experimental one-man band whose kaleidoscope of electro-sounds have mood enhancing powers.

The real surprise of the night was JP Maurice. I’m not sure what I expected from this charismatic voice who has his hands in a multitude of projects and seems to pop up everywhere within the music circles I follow. His relative high profile has contributed to the intrigue surrounding him and how he is choosing to market his current music among the jigsaw puzzle of his expanding career. I immediately took notice of how his distinct sound translated live. His performance of his recent single “Poison Heart” completely took me off guard, so much so that I literally stopped a conversation mid sentence to give it my full attention (hence my earlier ramblings about the challenges of the evening).


What may have impressed me the most about his show was that there was both a crisp polish to it and a malleability that could bend and twist with the audience. This is typically hard to achieve, but JP Maurice isn’t typical. When you think of the independent music scene in BC, his music would not be considered “trendy” in terms of sound right now, and he doesn’t fit what many would classify as pop either. His melodies and hooks are bold and remind me of some of my favourite 80’s era bands.  With his commanding stage presence, he gives an air of mature confidence beyond his years. Wearing a sharp black jacket and black jeans, amid a packed bar of twenty-somethings, he was the man of the hour. Interestingly, his recent music videos have been heavy on the sex appeal which can be misread as a smoke screen for lackluster talent.  But it only takes a few minutes in a room with his voice and a guitar to see what all the fuss has been about in recent years, including emerging from the shadows of his highly publicized record deal with David Foster to become one of Music BC’s most multidimensional artists since his first appearance as a Peak Performance Project finalist in 2011.

Along with his original material, what came later in his set was ridiculously awesome for anyone who experienced any of their adolescence in the mid 90’s…he performed a cover of Blackstreet ft. Dr. Dre’s “No Diggity” that was insane. I am still pinching myself about it actually happening. As the night went on, Windmills and JP collaborated to perform some crazy pop mash-ups that were a whole lot of fun, but covers after all are just that. At the end of a night it’s the artist’s own music that I’m hoping will stand out and it did. I am left with a sense of wonderment about this phoenix of sorts who causes quite the stir wherever he appears. I have a feeling the surprises are going to keep coming.

Windmills and JP Maurice performed at Fernando’s Pub in Kelowna BC on December 27, 2014.



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Windborn: “Calm in Chaos” album release

calm in chaos image

This past weekend at Serenity saw a sold out crowd for Windborn’s recent album release, “Calm in Chaos.” A true labour of love in the making, and over two years since he penned the songs following immense heartbreak and life altering change, the album has arrived in a form much different than the original concept.

After touring relentlessly to and from each corner of this beautiful province and beyond, the songs emerged and evolved in new ways in response to how they sounded and were received live.

The concept of the album was this: he wrote a letter. This letter encapsulated the feelings and changes he was going through. He then sectioned the letter into song titles, and the blueprint for the album was born.

In the end, Windborn has achieved what many attempt, a sincere representation of his live show.


After seeing Windborn perform for the fifth time in the last year, I can say that not only does his live performance get better with each show (as one would only hope), but the healthy amount of curious cynicism I held after hearing how he planned to record the album on his own was shattered upon first listen to it in my truck stereo on the way home from the show.

Jeff Pike, aka Windborn, is truly one of a kind. The uniqueness in his style of music is uncanny. As is commonly said by many who have been introduced to his music over the years, it is almost unbelievable that one person can create the sound that he does. The physical coordination it entails alone is constantly impressive.

Armed with an acoustic guitar, kick drum set, looping pedals, and a variety of percussion additions, Windborn is an amalgamation of genres, styles and sounds that equates to beautifully crafted music that gets under your skin unlike anything else.

It helps that the artist himself is ridiculously easy to be around who has this lets-hang-out-everyday-and-have-a-good-time kind of vibe. Not only that, but his generous spirit and commitment to the establishment of Serenity as a recognized and respected live music venue in BC has been directly observed and appreciated by many.

windborn 2

Windborn is an artist who can’t tell you what chords he is playing, if any, but who literally inhabits a constant state of experimentation in creating sounds that become his music. In addition, he remains meticulously conscious of what audiences respond to and can alter his sound on a dime to fit the feel of a room. His album release show at Serenity also happened to be venue owner Shirley deVooght’s birthday, coincidentally along with many others who have become longtime Windborn fans and supporters. The night was one big celebration, including a song or two where he threw out shakers and tambourines (and maybe a disposable kazoo or two) to the crowd, much to his regret later. You just cannot anticipate the power of a passionate fan and a kazoo (yes, I am talking about you Lisa). This is not even touching on the corny pointy birthday hats and full-on paper-bagged bottles being passed around in front of the stage throughout the night. No question, it was a party, and Windborn gave a performance worth celebrating.

Along with playing every song off the new album to the Serenity living room packed to the rafters, Windborn included a few glimpses into fresh material from his writing sessions on the road, which prove that there is an unending supply of art yet to be born from the heart and soul of this special artist. Throughout his 2+ hours show, we were promised that everything we had come to love about his live performance would be waiting for us on the album…and it was.

I know online downloads continue to be the mainstream way of acquiring music, but if you can get a hold of a physical copy of Calm in Chaos, it is well worth it.  The album cover is a custom designed envelope with a Windborn seal and includes lyric sheets for each song, quite the labour intensive presentation for an independent artist.  The writing, music, producing, recording, mastering, and design has all been done independently, as in all by himself.

It is difficult to imagine how the album will sound to anyone who has not experienced a Windborn show live, but from the perspective of someone who was able to play it within hours of seeing the songs performed a few feet in front of me, I can say without a doubt that the album allows me to experience his live show again and again in my own home. For a fan, there is no better gift than that.

album back

Album highlights: Of Calm: a truly beautiful exposition of the heart that gives me chills each time I hear it; Heaven: this simple, yet profound lyrical commentary on the existence of the afterlife draws you in and holds you close; Swim For the Lighthouse: a track that lives up to its song title and takes you on an undeniable journey of reflection, joy, hope and forging ahead, which in many ways sums up much of what Windborn represents. Honourable mention goes to track 5, the hidden creatively titled Third Intermission, (which continues his trend to include an instrumental track for the third album in a row), it is the perfect jam to get lost in, a foolproof measure I lean on more often than not.

Windborn performed at Serenity Performing Arts Centre on November 28, 2014.

Aside from a few private shows in December, Windborn will be back touring in January before his month long hiatus to enter the world of fatherhood. We wish him and his beautiful love all the happiness in the world as they begin this new chapter in life, and we look forward to the music that will surely be inspired by what lies ahead.

Stay up to date on his touring schedule, stream the new music, and read his latest blog posts at http://www.windborn.ca

Photos courtesy of Steve Mechem.

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