David Myles is coming home for the holidays.
The East Coast Music Award winner and Fredericton native now calls Halifax home but is returning to New Brunswick for a trio of shows in Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John’s biggest shopping malls for his annual Singing For Supper tour.
Now entering its third year, the Singing For Supper shows help raise funds for local food banks. This year’s Metro Moncton show takes place at Champlain Place on Wednesday, starting at noon.
David’s perspective on the shortages that food banks often have to deal with throughout the course of the year, not just at Christmas time, has been somewhat heightened this year. In July, he and his wife welcomed their first child, giving him an even greater drive behind this year’s shows.
“It is a much different situation when you are needing to think about providing for a family versus providing for just yourself,” David says. “When you start thinking about that dynamic and getting into a situation where things aren’t necessarily meeting up and you can’t provide what you need to provide for others, it becomes an entirely different story. And sadly, it is a major reality for a lot of families in New Brunswick. You have kids going to school with no food.
“When you look at the numbers in a province the size of New Brunswick, it is a bleak situation. We live in a prosperous part of the world but it is easy to forget that not everyone is standing on equal ground.”
As a teen, David says he first had his eyes opened to the plight of many New Brunswickers when he delivered turkeys to those less fortunate in the time leading up to the Christmas holidays.
“We were delivering turkeys all over Fredericton and I recall being absolutely shocked to see so many people that were legitimately needing food. They were so grateful for this one gesture during the holidays.”
David’s Singing For Supper Tour has picked up momentum year after year. He shares that between his three shows last year, 700 pounds of food was collected along with almost $3,000. He says that the funds raised and food donated stay in each community, and admits that while Christmas is perhaps the optimal time of year for counting on the generosity of others, provincial food banks need the public’s help year-round.
“Doing the shows at Christmas is great because people are reminded that the holidays are about giving and sharing. Financial donations for the food banks come in so handy because six or seven months down the road, there are still people that need your help.”
David, his wife and their daughter recently completed what could be considered the ultimate working family vacation. Over the last two months, David undertook extensive tours of Saskatchewan and British Columbia, playing a total of 35 shows and adding more than 15,000 clicks to their odometer.
“The tour was a serious adventure,” David says. “It was a significant tour to have undertaken. Plus, it was so cool to have my family come along, too. It made things a little busy but it was a good kind of busy. It was a nice distraction to have during the course of the day.”
David’s recent tour focused on rural communities that do not often play host to concerts. He says the shows were played for audiences of between 40 and 300 people each night, many of whom weren’t familiar with his music.
“The shows ended up providing me with a different kind of motivation and a different kind of energy. I have always taken playing shows very seriously but there was a little added edge with these shows since the people in attendance didn’t really know my music. Having the opportunity to take those 100 minutes on stage and try to have an impact on people was really exciting.
“Playing for a new audience night after night really lights a fire beneath you because you’ve only got a finite amount of time to get people on your side. That is a great challenge and is what it is all about as far as I’m concerned. If you can’t win fans over with your live show, you might as well throw in the towel.”
David doesn’t need to worry about throwing the towel in any time soon. His charisma and down-to-earth nature on stage are both endearing and refreshing in a day and age of so much onstage posturing.
Later this week, he flies to Toronto to begin work on his next full-length record, the follow up to last year’s Into The Sun. With an estimated release date of spring 2013 and producer Aaron Davis (Holly Cole Trio) steering the upcoming proceedings, David says his recent, extensive Western Canadian tour proved to be the perfect opportunity to work out some of his new material prior to hitting the studio.
“Because so many people in the audience didn’t necessarily know who I was, we could get away with performing a lot of the new material,” he says, laughing. “Our priority was to make sure that the songs worked live, were all solid and that they felt good. I am really looking forward to getting back into the studio and sharing some new songs with people.”