“Amelia Curran’s album, Spectators, has just been nominated for a Juno in the roots and traditional album of the year, solo category. And she’s coming here to Morrisburg to headline on our stage!” said board member Sandra Whitworth. Curran, (with artist, Jill Zmud, opening for her), is performing at the St. Lawrence Stage Saturday, March 2, beginning at 7 p.m.
Already the winner of a 2010 Juno, and first prize winner at the 15th Annual USA Songwriting competition, Amelia Curran has gained national attention with War Brides and the 2009 release of Hunter, Hunter.
Of her 2013 Juno nomination, Curran said, “It’s just over-whelming to be nominated again. I see Roots as more of an acoustic style of music. Actually, I still call myself a folk musician and I carry my guitar with me at all times. It’s just never far from my hands.”
Curran’s song writing in particular has deeply impressed critics and audiences alike. She once said of her music, “language is everything.”
“I love to write in all sorts of forms,” Curran explained in an interview with The Leader. “Songs talk in metaphors, and feelings are hard to convey at the best of times. I obsess over words, searching for the ones that may not be the fanciest or the most pleasing, but still truly reflect what I need to say. You might call me a kind of ‘word snob,’” she laughed. “I love finding that right and perfect word.”
Curran described themes she explores in her music. “Any writer writes about love, of course, but lately I have also been reflecting on social and political responsibilities in my music. Are we doing enough for the world around us?”
Fresh from touring extensively in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Curran earned kudos for her concerts in theatres and folk clubs. She says that Europeans are enchanted by the “Canadian identity.” “They ask me if there is something in the water in Canada that produces such great musicians,” she joked. “Of course, being very Canadian, if someone compliments me on my music my immediate tendency is to shrug off the compliment.”
However, Amelia Curran should be very used to compliments by now. Her musical accomplishments, her lyrical songs, her striking voice, have won her nothing but acclaim. She said she is looking forward to her Morrisburg debut March 2. “I love the Stage’s smaller venue. And I love to have an audience share my thoughts and music with me,” the Juno nominee said.
Two years ago Jill Zmud performed at the St. Lawrence Stage: she is eagerly looking forward to her return here, and to opening for Amelia Curran.
“I’m a big fan of Amelia and of the St. Lawrence Stage. The board and the audiences are so welcoming and warm.”
Zmud laughingly described her music as “torch/folk. It makes people feel warm and cozy.” She came to vocal music a little later than some: the first years of her career were focused on dance. She switched to vocal music in her early 20’s, leading what she describes as a “double life” ever since. “I think I was steeped in music from a very early age. I wanted, in the end, to create music and not just move to it.”
She originally sang covers, but now writes her own highly original pieces. “My themes tend to rely on what is happening in my life at any particular moment. I lately explored loss with the unexpected death of my father. And as a westerner, I feel strongly connected to the earth. My song Westwinds reflects the huge sky, the wheeling of hawks, and a stretching prairie road.” She composes without an instrument, using just her own striking voice until the melody and words have written themselves.
Currently, Jill Zmud is in the process of creating a new album for release sometime in the next year. “I know that I won’t ever stop making music. I’ve been so lucky,” she said. “My work, my career, involve music in every way. Music is my passion.”
Tickets for Amelia Curran, with Jill Zmud, are $18 in advance or $20 at the door, available at The Basket Case, Strung Out Guitars, Compact Music or at www.st-lawrencestage.com