Songwriters and Storytellers

Category: community 400

Humour and charm take centre stage at Shivering Songs’ annual Saturday afternoon showcase.

Tomato Tomato, Josh Bravener, Lydia Mainville and Dan Misha Goldman at Shivering Songs’ Songwriters and Storytellers event. Photo: Matt Carter
Matt Carter

Shivering Songs’ Saturday afternoon songwriter’s showcase at Wilmot United Church has been a festival favourite from the beginning. There’s something incredibly entertaining about bringing together four or five songwriter’s from very different backgrounds and placing them together on stage.  Musicians are an awkward bunch at the best of times, so when you take a handful of musicians out of their regular element, put them on stage in a church and force them to take turns performing alongside one another – often between two contrasting performers – that’s just a perfect recipe for entertainment, and I think that’s why this event has been a constant from the very beginning.

Events like this also place everyone on even ground. Unlike evening club performances or some other multi-performer situations where the acts may be selected based on their appeal to a similar listening audience, the Songwriters and Storytellers showcase brings together a diverse range of performers who may not necessarily share any crossover in audience or appeal whatsoever. That’s part of the magic.

This year’s event was hosted by the award-winning New Brunswick folk duo, Tomato Tomato and featured performances by Josh Bravener, Lydia Mainville and Dan Misha Goldman.

Tomato Tomato’s quirky mix of toe-tapping, up-tempo folk-pop may have, at times, felt a little out of place to longtime fans of the festival who have grown accustom to more subtle and unrehearsed banter, but again, it’s this diversity in programming that makes this event work.

Lydia Mainville and Dan Misha Goldman both made their festival debuts this year. Mainville’s angelic mix of voice and looped cello captured the room’s complete attention with each note.  Goldman, who will soon be releasing his debut solo album via Forward Music Group, brought another important contrast to this year’s lineup with songs that required a closer listen before revealing themselves to be intricate works of pop art, unlike the more traditional forms of folk delivered during the event.

Fredericton’s Josh Bravener easily won the hearts of everyone in the room with songs about love and loss and a real-life Elvis exorcism. With good humour and a voice well beyond his years, Bravener was the glue that brought the whole event together.

While there may not have been a guest author as in years past, this festival staple once again proved to be an important showcase for diverse songwriting and honest to goodness entertainment. An afternoon well spent.


alt text

Related Articles