Guitarist Lloyd Spiegel in concert at Acoustic Stage

MORRISBURG – “This man is like lightning in a bottle,” writes George Vaughan, Saturday Night Blues Review. Rolling Stones Australia calls him “a revelation, the consummate performer, a Blues and Roots icon.” And Australia Guitar Player Magazine, simply describes him as “a guitarist without peer.”

Lloyd Spiegel, Australia’s gift to music, is coming to the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage on Saturday, March 23, at 7 p.m. for a concert that will thrill and delight music lovers. Winner of the 2020 Australian Blues Award, Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Spiegel garners ovations for his dynamic and powerful guitar style, and also for his songs, which range from classic blues to deeply appealing ballads. He has opened for fellow artists Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James, and performed at B.B. King’s Beale St. Blues Club. Saturday, Spiegel is bringing his unique, exciting show (and his “wicked humour”) to Morrisburg for one performance only.

Joining Lloyd for this night featuring the best in music will be the award-winning singer, guitarist and lyricist Emma Lamontagne. SLAS audiences were first introduced to Emma’s rich voice, her thoughtful lyrics and her ready sense of humour, when she appeared at Upper Canada Playhouse in the January, 2023 Intimate Acoustics Showcase. She is excited to be returning to the warm and welcoming SLAS stage.

“Playing live is an incomparable experience, an intimate experience because you cannot hide,” Emma said, during an interview with The Leader. “The Upper Canada Playhouse is such a great venue because I can hear and see each person there. I allow myself to exist proudly and unfiltered in that space…developing long term connections with my audience. Everyone has a story, and if I can help someone feel understood, I’ve accomplished my mission for the night.”

Her music, and her passion for writing and singing are cornerstones to her life. She seeks truth in her songs. “I write mostly about the relationships I have in my life, as do most songwriters. I struggle to understand the ‘why’ in conflict.” Now happily in a committed relationship, she laughs that she no longer has to “write love songs through fiction. He has shown me what healthy love is. The music I’m starting to record now is the most authentic, uninhibited honesty I’ve ever shared. Keep your eye out this year for a new version of who I am.”

She is bringing that new, unreleased music to her performance at the Playhouse on the 23rd, and very much looking forward to connecting with the audience. “I’ve never felt more excited to play shows as I have with this new material. It feels like the real me is up on that stage. Also, Morrisburg, you are one of the best audiences I’ve ever played for, so let’s show Lloyd that Morrisburg passion.”

Hopefully Lloyd Spiegel will experience that special South Dundas passion. As an artist who is constantly on the road, performing for audiences in his native Australia, and throughout the world, his enthusiasm for music, and for the blues remains deep. “I think anyone introduced to the blues as a small child will love this music for their entire lives. It’s a simple and honest form of music that is easy to connect with,” Spiegel said, in a Leader interview. “It’s all about expression: there’s no right or wrong way to play it. It’s really just a canvas to use, and that’s what I love about it…building from simplicity and honesty and seeing where it takes you, creating your own unique voice.”

He sees blues as the foundation of virtually every type of music that came after it. “There’s always more to explore and learn, and each venue and each audience brings out something different in a show. I can’t ever get bored, because I’m not entirely sure what’s about to happen. Ha!” he laughed.

Lloyd Spiegel finds inspiration for his songs in many places. “My music often centres on the road, my family, my relationships, and the seeming endless struggle to balance the three…The most important thing to me when writing is that I am honest with my audience by being honest with myself. Much of my show relies on connecting with an audience and if I want that trust, I owe them my honesty.” As an artist, however, Spiegel does not limit himself to just the blues genre.
“My albums are kind of eclectic and a bit of a roller coaster. I’m a little ‘all over the place’ as a person; so are my songs and my albums. But I have always had a strong desire to put smiles on faces. Travelling by myself, can be a little lonely, but that connection with a live audience boosts my energy and makes me feel at home. I want my audience to feel welcome and excited at my show. I want them to feel as though they know me by the end of the night.”

Part singer-songwriter, part guitarist, part story teller and part comedian, Lloyd Spiegel is eager to make those rich connections with his listeners. His performance at Upper Canada Playhouse on March 23 will almost certainly go in some fascinating musical directions, directions that are likely to surprise and delight the crowd – and probably Lloyd Spiegel himself!

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