MORRISBURG – She’s here.
For fans of Juno award winning singer/songwriter, Rose Cousins, this is the best possible news.
On Saturday, March 3, at 7 p.m., Cousins, whose voice has been described as “exquisite,” will be performing in concert at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg.
Named contemporary singer of the year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2010, winner of a Juno in 2013 for We Have Made A Spark, winner of numerous East Coast Music Awards, and currently up for a Juno as best songwriter at the 2018 Awards in Vancouver, Cousins actually took some time off from her intense touring schedule after 2013.
“I didn’t actually stop completely,” she explained.
“I just decided there would be no more long tours for a while. Touring is exhausting even though travel musicians are by nature and choice self-propelled.
I wanted to be available for new opportunities.
By slowing down, I took care of myself and also opened myself up to other experiences and to writing with other people.”
Natural Conclusion, her most recent album, with Grammy Award winning producer Joe Henry, ultimately developed following this time of introspection and exploration.
The album has garnered considerable critical and fan praise.
“Every album is important. Every album is a collection and a chapter of life, and what comes out of being alive,” said Rose Cousins. “Natural Conclusion actually only took four days to make, but a lot of time and thought went into creating the cast, the right musicians, to make that album.”
On her personal website, Cousins wrote that Natural Conclusion is the “most honest and vulnerable thing” she had made to date… “We choose, we are chosen, we are left, we leave, we stay together, we grieve, judge and empathize…Each relationship will come to its Natural Conclusion.”
Music is a driving force in Rose Cousins’ life.
“Music used to be a private thing for me, until I chose this career 12 years ago.
How do I maintain my passion for creating music? I think it’s because nothing could ever extinguish that passion. Music is what I love. I’d never give it up. Although I suppose,” she laughed, “you should never say never.”
Cousins’ music is commanding a growing international audience. Her work has appeared on TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, and Nashville: she is singing “Don’t Stop” in the Dairy Farmers of Canada national ad campaign.
And at the 2018 Juno Awards in Vancouver, Rose Cousins will be performing in the Songwriters Circle.
A native Prince Edward Islander, who now makes her home in Halifax, Cousins commented that she didn’t grow up with traditional East Coast music in her home.
“But that music has been an influence in my own work.
Down East we tend to grow up in close knit communities, communities often steeped in musical traditions. People are supportive of each other, and I think that feeds the richness of our music.”
I mentioned that the East Pointers had just performed at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage.
She laughed that they are a great example of that Down East richness, describing their music as “exhilarating.”
She looks forward to her concert at the SLAS.
“I relate to audiences because I am one of them: I’m just up on the stage,” she said.
“It’s important to connect to the audience and one of the bridges I use is humour. I learned long ago that humour can neutralize awkward or tense situations. It’s a powerful experience to play in an intimate setting. Sometimes the audience can create an energy that will blow the roof off.”
Her program at UCP will be a cross section of many of her songs. It will create a strong connection to members of the audience.
“I believe,” said Rose Cousins, “that the musical community is world-wide.”
Rose Cousins will be at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage on Saturday, March 3, at 7 p.m. for one concert only.
Tickets for this concert are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, available at the Stage website, at Upper Canada Playhouse, at the McIntosh Inn and Conference Centre and at Rurban Brewing.