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On the road 

Jenny Berkel’s folk rolls on, right into home recording studios while she records her next album across the country.

click to enlarge DANIELLE BERKEL
  • Danielle Berkel

Winnipeg folk poet Jenny Berkel pulls no punches with her newest video for "Like a Rope." She is trying to break your heart. Animated by Karsten Wall, the video features a beautiful and sad interpretation of Berkel's heart-rending lyrics. Just try not to mist up. "When I wrote this song, a number of my dearest and most vibrant friends were heavy burdened with sadness, so mental health issues, depression, and loneliness were weighing on my mind," says Berkel.

On Berkel's latest tour, she will also be recording her new album. Each song will be recorded in a different city---most of them in cozy home studios---making a kind of permanent record of her travels. "The idea actually came to me while I was sweeping the floor. The tour is exciting on its own, of course, but I really wanted to add an extra element to it. Also, my album [Here on the Wire] has been out since May 2012, and I have a heaping pile of new songs that I want to share," says Berkel. "I'm lucky enough to have a number of friends across eastern Canada who are also great engineers. I want the songs to feel warm and intimate, so living room sessions seemed like a good way to go."

Luckily, working on the road isn't something new to Berkel. "I used to think I needed a very specific space: a quiet room, a desk, a number of hours ahead of me. This spring and summer, I was touring so frequently that I started writing everywhere---on the train, in a room full of people and even on long lonely drives across the prairies. If you ever happen to drive past me alone in a car, you would probably see me mouthing words to myself," says Berkel. "I've learned that the best way to discover the strength of a lyric is to hear it aloud. So I do talk and sing to myself often. I still prefer an empty room for writing, but am very happy to realize it isn't always necessary."

Fill the room and fill your heart Sunday at the Carleton.

Jenny Berkel w/Jennah Barry, Taryn Kawaja
Sunday, November 17 at 8pm
The Carleton Bar & Grill, 1685 Argyle Street


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