The Dakota Confessions
In the future, when I’m trying to imagine what my ideal evening would consist of, I will immediately think back to the night of February 11th 2016. A night filled with music from Andrea England, Rose Cousins, Donovan Woods, Joey Landreth, Morgan Cameron Ross, and I will feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to top that.
On a night where the temperature outside left most of us quite numb, the evening started off with a voice that felt like a much needed warm cup of coffee. Rose Cousins immediately freed us from anything that might be bringing us down with melodies reminiscent of a long awaited and much needed hug. With her single word chorus’, we leapt into a world filled with freedom, grace and much cheaper therapy. Off to a great start.
Despite Donovan Woods claiming to be in a drug induced “sweet spot” (just cold meds…Don’t worry), you would’ve been hard pressed to tell that he was under the weather in any way. His silky voice, rhythmic guitar playing and strong lyrics make for a true triple threat. The comical part of it all was his claiming to be intimidated by his fellow songwriters, as though he, and his sense of humour, weren’t sitting exactly where they belonged.
Next up, Joey Landreth of Bros. Landreth. Joey played the previous Four Chords event and melted the entire room. Playing a resonator to accompany his smooth as honey whiskey voice, Joey captures and keeps the rooms undivided attention. With the first line of his first song, Joey had soothed the audience into a euphoric state which was easily seen looking out into the crowd. Puppy dog eyes and dropped jaws are something that Joey must be familiar with by now.
The man with the personalized picks, Mr. Morgan Cameron Ross. With his quippy and melodically beautiful narrative about a brother he never had going to prison, and a man living his life to the fullest, Morgan’s voice has a perfect balance of softness and powerful grit. Typically backed by his band Bellwoods, Morgan shined bright sitting up there among all the other talent.
The shows organizer and performer, Andrea England joins in with her beautiful tune I Won’t Forget About You. Andrea is already an accomplished Canadian song writer and it is easy to see why. Adding now to those accomplishments is the Four Chords event itself. Selling out every time, the lucky ones who have acquired tickets have a unique musical memory that will last. Moving forward I can only imagine spots being harder and harder to come by.
Every Four Chords And The Truth event will include a guest or two not on the bill, to jump up for a song of their own. Past guests have included Melissa Bel, Serena Ryder, Jessica Mitchell, Fred Penner and more. This time around we were treated to emerging artist Nefe, and the powerful vocals of Damhnait Doyle accompanied by The Heartbroken guitarist Stuart Cameron, all adding to the already overflowing talent pool on stage.
To close off the show, Donovan Woods played Leaving Nashville. A song stated as being the perfect song written about song writing. The group joined in, in a great moment that warmed the soul, just in time to brave the cold outside of the Dakota Tavern.
Four Chords And The Truth as a whole, is pretty remarkable. To be in a small room, under such a warm atmosphere, among all these talented musicians and writers feels pretty rare. Everyone seems so relaxed and they all just have a lot of fun. There are many comedic moments between songs just with the banter among everyone on stage. It’s like they are all great friends (some most certainly are) and carry on as such, joking and laughing and feeding into the beautiful energy of the room.
The next two Four Chords And The Truth events are slated for June 16th, and September 17th at The Dakota Tavern. Both of which will undoubtedly be just as enjoyable.
Bianca Bernardi / @BiancaBMusic