Review: Colin Fowlie at the Open Space Theatre

Category: music 89

Colin Fowlie & the Humble Few performed a rare hometown theatre show with Blackville’s Amber Walls as special guest. November 10.

Photo: Matt Douthwright. MRD Studios.
Matt Carter 

Colin Fowlie’s songs are rooted in the human experience. He writes and sings songs about life, sometimes shining light on the kind of experiences most of us naturally avoid thinking about. It’s not heartbreak or loss in the direct sense, but more the catalysts that we put in place to spark those events. But not always. He also has a real gift for humour which makes him one of the most well rounded local roots musicians and songwriters performing today. So it was a real treat to catch his last hometown show of the year this past Thursday when Fowlie, his band The Humble Few, and emerging country singer Amber Walls performed before a full audience at TNB’s Open Space Theatre.  

Blackville New Brunswick singer Amber Walls was a last minute addition to the bill replacing the show’s initial opening act Carlin Fraser who was unable to play due to scheduling conflicts. This show marked Walls’ first Fredericton performance and came about as a result of her recent showcase at Festival (506) in Moncton. Playing a set of original songs, Walls, a longtime singer and relative newcomer to guitar with a voice as pure and clear as you will ever hear, held the audience’s attention and set a high bar for the evening’s headliner. With any luck Fredericton audiences won’t have to wait too long to catch her on stage again.

After a short intermission, Colin Folwie and The Humble Few lit up the room with a remarkably clean and full sounding performance that featured a career spanning collection of songs including a few choice covers and unreleased gems. The entire performance had the feel of a house concert with musicians and audience situated in close proximity to one another.  Fowlie’s onstage humor and the prowess of his fellow musicians tied the evening together nicely. After an hour-long set with his band that included many of the stories behind his songs, Fowlie wrapped up the night with a short medley of solo tunes on the acoustic guitar that ended with a reimagining of Creedence Clearwater Revival,’s Lodi, highlighted by Fowlie’s versatile approach to guitar. 

Having the opportunity to enjoy a local musician in a theatre setting is a rare occurrence. And being able to witness a local making the transition from bar shows to a theatre setting was a real treat for his hometown fanbase. 

Big thanks to Matt at MRD Studios for the image.

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