It's about that time of year when smokey, warm folk songs are all you need. Like a hot cup of tea, folk music full of heart and soul does wonders for the spirit. Tonight, Devarrow (Graham Ereaux) returns to the east coast after awhile on the west coast, and he's invited Corey Isenor (with Liam Frier) and Pat LePoidevin to play The Company House (8pm, $10). But that's not all. Devarrow has also invited Analog Songs to film a music video of tonight's performance.
"To have a good live video, you need to be in the zone and you have to make the crowd in the zone," Ereaux says, "We're going to film two of my more upbeat, dancey songs, and get aperture and crowd shots, as well." As a promotional outfit, Analog Songs are masters of presenting fine details that represent the whole, which is a fitting complement to Devarrow's own music. Each song on his latest album, The Great Escape, speaks for the entire process of its creation.
"It's a collection of songs that I've written over the last six years," he explains, "I had stopped playing music for awhile. This fall, I was in BC and had some life changes and decided I wanted to go back to playing, so I moved to Vancouver and hunkered down. For me, it was like recreating six years of songs, reinventing them and bringing coherence to them all."
When it came time to record the album, he crossed the channel to Salt Spring Island to record with Daryl Chonka of Old Growth Music: "He was a very inspirational person to work with, and I'm really glad I did it because it was the kind of place that I lived in for awhile. Salt Spring is known for having tons of amazing inspirational people there." This comes across on The Great Escape. For fans of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Chad VanGaalen's softer stuff, this album is for you.
"On the album, I tried to pull off folky roots with more of an edge," Ereaux says, "It was my first time living in a city, it was the middle of winter, I played into that whole experience."
In June, Ereaux decided it was time to head back east; his hometown of Moncton serves as an anchor on his journey. "I grew up in the Maritimes, it's where I started playing music, and it's inspiring to see other musicians who have come a really long way," he says. These musicians include LePoidevin and Isenor, his two friends from his student days at Mount Allison.
"I would have met Corey and Pat when I lived there from about 2009 to 2013, and this is the first time we've all had a show together," he says, "I've played with Pat and Corey and they've played together — we were three kind of folky musicians in Sackville but we've never had a chance to play together. So it's funny to play tonight, years after the fact." He says both are incredibly talented musicians, "Corey has a special place in my heart." But it's also been a minute since LePoidevin has played, lately working full-time as a teacher in Wolfville, "But he's still extremely passionate about music," says Ereaux, "He was a hero when I first started playing."
Devarrow also plays tomorrow night at Menz Bar with Newfoundland band, Another North, and up-and-coming Fredericton band, David in the Dark. Devarrow says he'll be hanging around the Maritimes until January, soaking it all in before heading back out west for the summer.
"There's something special about the east coast, and you can't really explain it either," he says, and tonight you can be part of something special. All you have to do is aim for The Company House.