A truly wonderful musical mix of experience and new talent will be gracing the stages of the cities of Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John over the next week as the old guard of Canadiana music meets the new guard.
The Canadian Songbook Tour, consisting of veterans Murray McLauchlan and Barney Bentall are teaming up with newer artists Catherine MacLellan and Nathan Rogers for an evening of music that is not to be missed. The format of this evening of music is to have the four musicians on stage together, sharing songs and stories armed with only their voices and acoustic guitars.
The tour has a remarkable eight dates spread throughout the Maritimes. The Atlantic leg of the tour kicks off on October 15 in Fredericton at the Playhouse before hitting Saint John on October 17 at the Louis Vermeersch Theatre and wrapping up in Moncton at the Capitol Theatre on October 24.
Both Nathan Rogers and Catherine MacLellan are carrying weighty musical heritage on their shoulders as they work to establish their own careers.
Nathan Rogers is the son of the legendary folk singer Stan Rogers while MacLellan is the daughter of hitmaker Gene MacLellan, song writer of tracks Snowbird and Put Your Hand In The Hand, to name but two.
Rogers says that the only expectations he has ever known are those that he has put onto himself.
However, MacLellan is a little more specific in regards to how she manages the public’s expectations and even her own.
“There is something that happens when your parent has shone in the spotlight, and there is a fear of being overshadowed by that,” she admits. “When I was younger I was worried that nobody would hear my music because they were only there to catch the remnants of my father. But I have been working for so long now, that my music comes first but the story comes second.
“I feel very lucky that my dad was such an amazing songwriter, and I still have so much to learn from him through his music.”
Even though he has a wealth of experience on his side, MacLellan’s tour mate Barney Bentall acknowledges that it isn’t getting any easier for new artists to break out the way he successfully did in the 80s.
“The music industry landscape is almost unrecognizable from when I signed with Sony Music in 1987. Back then, once you had signed your deal, it seemed that within a year or two you were known across the country,” he says.
“I’m watching my son Dustin tackle this insane way of life; I see he and his peers tackling the challenge with much more of a grass roots approach than how I approached my career in music,” he continues.
Rather than striking out on tour solo or with only one supporting act, McLauchlan sees a real benefit to him and Bentall sharing the stage with MacLellan and Rogers on a tour such as this.
“The audience gets a chance to see new people that they might not have been exposed to otherwise. And I don’t have to work as hard at the end of the night,” he jokes.
“There is a good deal of camaraderie that develops on tours like this.”
MacLellan happily echoes McLauchlan’s sentiment noting that she is looking forward to the tour dates as well.
“I am really looking forward to sharing songs with these three men. I have played a few shows with Murray before; he is a Canadian legend and a really hilarious guy to chat with. Barney Bentall is such a great songwriter and was one of my favourites from the 90’s.
“These shows are always a learning experience, both musically and socially; I’m really looking forward to that.”
For more information concerning The Canadian Songbook’s performers and the tour itself, visit www.thecanadiansongbook.ca.