Toronto’s Graham Nicholas with locals Norma MacDonald and Corey Isenor get together for a songwriters’ circle at The Carleton on Wednesday, October 24th. Show time is 8 PM and tickets are $12.50 advanced or $15 at the door.
On Dial Tones and Pretty Notes, his latest full- length album, Graham Nicholas has created an emotionally resonant world inhabited by troubled and love-hungry characters. Never alienated for their insecurities, his characters are instead respected by the empathetic voice of an honest songwriter. The album finds Nicholas honing in on his concise form of storytelling and refining his irreverent sense of humor.
Coupling the narratives with a backing band that hearkens back to the likes of The Heartbreakers, The Travelling Wilburys and The Byrds, Nicholas’ songs have found the right balance of warmth and grit. Not only has Graham Nicholas maintained an extensive and country crossing touring schedule, he has also shared the stage with the like of Ron Hynes, Catherine Maclellan, Old Man Luedecke, Del Barber and Daniel Romano.
“John Prine would be proud.” Americana UK
Norma MacDonald was born and raised in Cape Breton, and now lives in Halifax, NS. She likes Gram Parsons records, talking to strangers, potato chips, David Lynch movies and swimming in the ocean. When she is not making music, she works as an ER nurse.
Her voice holds sublime contradictions—it’s fluid but piercing, self-assured but full of yearning. Her fourth solo album, Burn the Tapes, is just as complex; her incisive lyrics explore old stories and fresh heartbreaks with startling acuity, all woven into a warm and bright country-folk album. Burn the Tapes is at turns scrappy and slick, naive and confident, playful and heavy. From the summertime, old-friend nostalgia of the opening track “Company” to the quirky, unsettling country-noir of “Lighten Up” (a duet with former Guthries baritone, Gabe Minnikin), to the dark, orchestral Springsteen homage “To Nebraska,“ Burn the Tapes plays like the soundtrack to long night time drive that’s over too soon.
“A Painted Portrait (Of The Classic Ruse) is Corey Isenor‘s most mature, focused, and cohesive album to date. Not a moment is wasted, each note carries the weight of the world. Isenor is still finding himself with more questions than answers, but the contradiction of such uncertainties being presented with such confidence and skill is a beautiful thing to behold.” Scott Brown