After having spent the better part of a month earlier this fall playing shows throughout Ontario and all points west of that province, Fredericton native David Myles is happy to back home in the Maritimes.
“I’ve been back home for approximately three weeks now, and I have to admit that it feels pretty good,” an affable Myles says, reflecting upon his most recent tour in support of his latest studio album, Real Love. The album is Myles’ tenth release.
“It had been a little while since we had undertaken a tour of that magnitude, not only in terms of the program we were playing night after night, but also with respect to the production we were carrying from show to show. All in all, I’d call it a successful jaunt.”
Having a three-week breather before Myles gears up for a busy December in his home province is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Myles’ latest record finds the singer-songwriter in fine form, taking his cues from the very roots of rock and roll.
Over the course of the next two weeks, not only will the singer-songwriter be performing shows with Symphony New Brunswick in Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton, he will also be conducting his annual Singing For Supper benefit concerts in those same cities.
Now entering its eighth year, Myles insists the Singing For Supper shows have grown beyond anything that he ever could have possibly imagined. Since launching the benefit performance series in front of an estimated 20 people at Moncton’s Blue Cross Centre, Myles’ holiday shows have become an annual rite of passage for the artist, an opportunity for him and his band to give something back to those in need.
At each Singing For Supper stop, Myles, accompanied by his longtime band mates Alan Jeffries and Kyle Cunjak, perform for upwards of 90 minutes in the food court of area shopping malls. As they perform, the group collects and solicits donations, both monetary and non-perishable goods, which are then donated to the city’s food bank.
Even though the venue might not be traditional and the crowd gathered might not an audience expecting to see a show over their lunch hour, Myles’ goal is to get in front of as many people as possible in order to make the greatest impact possible.
“Over the last eight years, we’ve raised more than $50,000 for food banks in Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton, and that’s not including the food that has been donated,” he marvels.
“But these events have become so much more than us playing music. These shows give me the opportunity to say thanks to the public for their support. But they are also very much about community, and bringing people together for a great cause. What better way to do that than with music? It’s so inspiring to see people be so generous with those less fortunate.”
In the week following the Singing For Supper performances, Myles will once again be taking the stage, this time accompanied by the members of Symphony New Brunswick for three holiday-themed shows. Although this isn’t the first time that Myles and the symphony will be working together, he insists the opportunity helps cement how fortunate he is to make music for a living.
“It seems that every time we team up with Symphony New Brunswick, we end up exceeding expectations we set out for ourselves. It’s one of those experiences that truly gets better every time we undertake it.”
Asked what aspect of performing with a symphony took him the most getting used to, Myles says learning to go with the flow of the larger group instead of steering the ship himself was arguably the toughest.
“Playing with Symphony New Brunswick is just such a wonderful opportunity, but it’s also very different than what we are used to. When I perform as part of a trio with Alan and Kyle, we are afforded a certainly agility to speed up or slow down or extend a song as long as we see fit. But when you’ve got a symphony on stage with you, it’s like you’ve gone from being on a rowboat to a 600-foot yacht,” Myles says, laughing.
“And the most important aspect of being on that yacht is realizing that I’m no longer the sole captain; it’s a collaborative effort with the conductor. It’s all about the rhythm and going with their flow, and it feels just amazing, just like I’m singing on a cloud.”
For a listing of David Myles’ upcoming performances, visit, www.davidmyles.com.