Stephen Fearing and The Sentimentals: Extraordinary concert coming to St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage

MORRISBURG: “A song is my way of telling a story. Music is actually the only art form with the word ‘muse’ built into it: I believe there is a kind of magic in music that deeply connects with us all on a subconscious level. And frankly,” said singer/songwriter/musician Stephen Fearing, “I see myself primarily as a story teller. I just love a good story.”

Stephen Fearing has won multiple Junos, and Canadian Folk Music awards. His ninth solo album, ‘Every Soul’s A Sailor’ was named 2017 Worldwide Album of the Year by Blues and Roots Radio. A master guitarist, he has performed throughout Canada and internationally. He has shared a stage with Bruce Cockburn, Roseanne Cash, Sarah McLachlan, Suzie Vinnick, Rose Cousins, Murray McLauchlan and many others. He co-founded the Canadian group Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, now one of the most respected names in North American roots-rock. He has also collaborated in the indie-folk duo Fearing and White, with Andy White

In short, Stephen Fearing, who will be appearing at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, Upper Canada Playhouse, on Saturday, April 15, at 7 p.m., along with the amazing voices of the Danish/Americana/folk group, the Sentimentals, is a musical phenomenon. His work has been described as a blend of folk, roots and pop. And audiences and critics alike have been bowled over by the heart, and the musical wizardry, he brings to his songs.

“I wouldn’t call myself a ‘topical’ writer,” Fearing explained. “What I love are stories, stories of people. My songs often grow out of life’s journeys, what you see in the world, what you see in other people, how their environment challenges and affects them. I write from my own experiences. And I’ve actually discovered that a lot of my newer songs have the word ‘time’ in them. I have always found that a song has to start from an emotion.” he said. “I used to concentrate on the lyrics, and then the music seemed to come unconsciously. But lately, I’ve come to feel that the music, the melody, is really where the magic begins. The music finds me, and then I must find the lyrics that fit it. Frankly,” he laughed, “you can’t wait for the Muse. You just have to demand her attention.”

Like many artists, he found the shutdowns and limitations of COVID tough. “I found it hard to write during the pandemic. I did a lot of other things – even baking – but writing was not one of them.

Now, however, I’m coming back, re-opening those creative doors,” Fearing said. “I’m intrigued again by how mysterious the art of creating music really is. Ideas are delicate things. You have to coax and caress them, persuade them that you will treat them with respect. Yet you know,” he added, a little tongue-in-cheek, “sometimes, I still don’t think I understand how one of my songs has created itself.”

He is very much looking forward to his concert at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage. He met the Sentimentals, who will be appearing with him in Morrisburg, through a fellow musician in 2017. “I heard them and marvelled at their talent. They are delightful musicians, and we have formed deep connections. I wanted them to come to Canada – and they’re finally here.”

He is also looking forward, at his Morrisburg show, to creating that special link that true artists have with their audiences, whether the venue is a small house concert, or a vast stage. As Fearing put it,“I see it as a great privilege to do what I do. It is a lovely thing to communicate with people, to share a musical journey with them. Song writing lets you use your imagination, and it fills me with joy to be live again on the stage, to connect with an audience. When you ‘entertain’, well, you take people with you on an amazing trip.” His SLAS concert with the Sentimentals on April 15 will feature lots of musical interplay and lots of exciting music. With a very busy summer of tours and concerts ahead, he is eagerly looking forward to a “musical world that is opening up again.” And the audience attending the SLAS show, will quickly discover that Stephen Fearing is a mesmerizing artist, a guitarist, a singer, a composer – and most definitely a wonderful “teller of tales.”

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