Thursday night at The Dakota Tavern was by far the most diverse instalment of the Four Chords And The Truth series. Really getting to the “kernels of the popcorn”. The songwriters featured at each confession have the opportunity to get back to the roots of each of their songs and give us (the audience) some vulnerable insight into the origin of their art.
Starting the night off was Juno nominated singer, songwriter and producer Mark Masri. With his impeccable vocal strength and accuracy, Mark serenaded us with songs that demonstrate his fearlessness of baring his soul. A song for his wife discussing the difficulties of keeping a healthy, happy relationship in the music industry. A song about seeing the face of a loved one when you feel as though you can’t go on, and a universal apology to a young boy who lost his battle with mental illness. Mark’s songs leave those who have the privilege of hearing them with heavy, thoughtful hearts.
Next in the circle we had fire in human form, Hill Kourkoutis. At 28 years old, it seems that there is nothing that this songwriting, producing, acting, directing, multi-instrumentalist wouldn’t/couldn’t/hasn’t done including working directly with Serena Ryder and The Weeknd. She mesmerized the audience with her alien surf rock tunes and sparkly shoes. With tunes like In Retrospect You Were The Asshole, Love Isn’t Safe and Doctor Doctor, Hill’s inability to take shit is blatantly obvious in her lyrics, melodies, guitar stylings and overall persona. Do yourselves a favour and check out Hill’s many projects, including Hill And The Sky Heroes. And yes, The Weeknd admittedly stole her hair style.
— Sound Check Ent. (@SoundCheckBlg) September 23, 2016
To balance out Hill’s fire, we had the grounding and soothing Will Whitwham. The vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist for the indie folk band, The Wilderness Of Manitoba captured our souls with some acoustic originals such as the melodically and lyrically beautiful song Escape The Moon. Gathering inspiration from everywhere, including the Douglas Adam’s novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. If you’re a fan of Bon Iver or Ben Howard, you will fall deeply in love with Will’s gentle musings.
American born but Canadian raised goddess Suzie Ungerleider (or Oh Susanna as you may know her) was next up in the circle. Exuding confidence in every which way, Suzie proceeded to own the audience. From the moment she opened her mouth to the final strum of her electric guitar, all eyes and ears were focused on her. Telling us stories like the one in Red and then standing up to deliver the lighthearted song with a hell of a heavy core Mama, there was not a moment that the audience was not completely captivated by Suzie and her stories.
Creator, organizer and overall rockstar Andrea England, after performing her great tune Hot House Flower (with the aid of Hill Kourkoutis due to a hand injury) brought up a special guest as a treat for the attendees. Jessica Mitchell has been taking the country music scene by storm with her undeniably catchy song, Workin’ On Whiskey. Performing a song which has changed her life and a song that saved her life, aptly titled That Record Saved My Life, Jessica obviously deserved to be on that stage.
— Sound Check Ent. (@SoundCheckBlg) September 22, 2016
If you have not yet attended a Four Chords and The Truth Confession, I’m not entirely sure what you’ve been doing with your life. Fear not for redemption can be yours. The next Dakota Confessions will be on November the 17th. A remarkable and unique event put together by Andrea England and the wonderful people at Jack Daniels. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance as these events have been known to sell out.
Written By Bianca Bernardi
Photos By Mike Highfield