A young man from “down under” is returning to the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage in the concert that music fans have been demanding.
Australian Jordie Lane, who first captured the attention of audiences two seasons ago when he opened for Old Man Luedecke, is headlining his own show at the Stage April 9, at 7 p.m.
“We had to bring him back,” said SLAS president Sandra Whitworth. “Our audiences demanded to hear more.”
What a night of music it’s going to be!
Opening for Jordie will be rising young artist, Annie Sumi, whose performance at the 2015 Youth Mentor program at Folk Music Ontario, delighted SLAS board members. “Annie’s performance was so powerful and so mature we decided to put her right into an opening spot,” Whitworth said.
Singer/song writer/musician Jordie Lane is regarded as one of Australia’s musical treasures – a gift his nation is happy to share with the rest of the world.
“Take pieces of Jeff Tweedy, Ron Sexsmith and Jackson Browne, melt them down in a beautiful crucible of music and you end up with Jordie Lane…Did I mention that the resulting sound is excellent? It’s bloody excellent!” said FBI Radio Sydney.
“Jordie’s considered one of the finest contemporary folk/roots musicians coming out of Australia,” Sandra Whitworth said. “He’s a Bob Dylan style song writer. His songs are deeply textured and evocative. And he’s blessed with a beautiful and haunting voice.”
The trick is catching Jordie in one place long enough to talk to him!
He is, in fact, coming to the Stage directly from his most recent sweep of Australia, promoting the world-wide release of his newest single, “Frederick Steele McNeil Ferguson”.
I caught up to him in mid tour and referred to him as the archetypical ‘ramblin’ man’.
“My parents met in a travelling theatre troupe as clowns, and my earliest memories are from time on the road,” Jordie laughed. He loves to tour, loves the open road. “Well, right now, anyway! I think it’s the idea that if today wasn’t as great as you’d hoped, then tomorrow is full of mystery out there on the road! And that’s what drives me to keep travelling.”
Performing for constantly changing audiences seems to appeal to him.
“I think keeping a rapport with audiences in different countries, with different cultures, can of course be challenging,” Jordie said. “But if we didn’t have that desire to connect with people, then we’d just stay home and reel off the same spiel every night. But I’m very excited to return to Canada. Feels like a second home.”
Jordie Lane’s music and lyrics are highly personal, inspired in a number of ways.
“I think my writing has definitely gone through a change of extended seasons,” he explained. “It’s always been very much driven by auto-biographical stories. But it’s changed in its themes and presentation over the years. When I was 11, I was writing fantasy yearning songs for girls I’d never met. When I was 21, I was writing songs about actually falling in love for real.
And then I started to travel and started to sing about the people I came across on the road and the stories they bestowed on me. I would say that my favourite type of song writing is when it just pours out of me. That’s the most exciting rush, and feels the most true, when you don’t think too much. I’m a believer in songs directing the singer and not the singer trying to fit in a genre.”
He remembers his first visit to Morrisburg, and jokes that while that particular tour with Old Man Luedecke was truly “epic, it was also freakin’ cold! However, I’m so excited to be coming back to Morrisburg to perform.”
Accompanying Jordie on the Stage will be musician Clare Reynolds. “She is an amazingly gifted songwriter also from Australia but based in LA. I find it hard to sing my songs without her now because she brings so much to the show. “
Annie Sumi, an artist in her early 20s, is excited to be opening for Jordie. “I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about him. I’m looking forward to sharing the Stage.”
Annie has been singing literally since she was two. Sandra Whitworth praises the incredible maturity of the young award winner’s vocals.
“Well, I guess I’d say that I have quite a range,” Annie Sumi laughs. “A little soft, not wild. However, some songs demand power. I think the type of song really dictates my vocal style. I try always to be completely genuine when I perform.”
Music is her love and her passion.
“I believe that you must do what you love, and stick to it,” she said. “Music needs perseverance. Yes, it’s a hard life style, but the more you commit to it, the more it means to you. I’ve loved music since, well, forever.”
She tries to stay open minded as a artist, “always growing. I think I self-identify as a folk musician, but things change. I’ve found inspiration in a lot of genres – jazz, folk, pop, even some activist songs. And Carole King is probably my all time favourite artist.”
Themes that appeal to Annie in her song writing are “probably 80 per cent inspired by situations in my life, or by observations of the life around me. Landscapes influence my writing: to me, Northern Ontario is a constant creative inspiration, and I speak of nature metaphorically in my song lyrics. I think it’s easier to make sense of things by seeing them around me in nature.”
This May, Annie Sumi will be on tour through Ontario, and also recording a new album with the Hitting Roots Collective, “four creative minds working together. Four women who all have different writing and performing strengths.”
She looks forward to coming to the Upper Canada Playhouse, opening for Jordie. “I try to find a connection with the audience. It’s important to me that they feel they are seeing the real me on the stage.”
Tickets for the April 9, 7 p.m. Jordie Lane Concert at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Contact www.stlawrencestage.com for tickets and information.