Singer/Comedian Rory Gardiner concert coming to St. James

MORRISBURG – If you love terrific music, and you also love to laugh, St. James Anglican Church, Saturday, April 27, 7:30 pm, is definitely the place to be. For one show only, Canadian Country Music Association nominee and stand up comedian, Rory Gardiner, is coming to town.

Rory Gardiner has performed with Keith Urban among others, and wowed listeners with his comic TikTok videos. His sketches have appeared on Funny or Die and America’s Funniest Videos. Corus Entertainment calls him “one of the top 10 Funniest People in Canada.” And he is coming to our community.

Rory has performed as a musician for a large part of his life: he shared some insights about combining the worlds of music and comedy. “As a country musician, I found that after a song, most people would at least politely clap. I actually worked in a bar for a time, and to some extent, I felt that music could become part of the background. But comedy is very different. It’s much more personal. Get up and tell a joke that isn’t funny – no laughs. Not a sound. But if you connect, and people laugh, that is incredibly gratifying. When you are dong stand up comedy, you know the audience is totally focussed on you. That can be a little harder, of course, but it is really gratifying.”

He began combining comedy with his music shortly after his home community suffered the tragedy of a destructive tornado, which resulted in a lot of loss and stress. Although he had been pursuing his love of country music for nearly 15 years, that event, which also had an impact on his life, led him to introduce comedy into his act. He has a very unique appeal: Rory Gardiner truly is one-of-a-kind. “I see the humour in a lot of quirky scenarios,” Rory said, “and I want to share that. But I also see humour as a coping mechanism. Laughing makes people feel better. And my belief is that if you can make people laugh, for a time they can actually forget their troubles and difficulties.”

A true passion for country music has also been his focus since the 1990s. His Dad was deeply into blue grass, and Rory admits that he may have picked up some of his love for country growing up. However, he added, laughing, “In the 90s I got the Garth Brooks bug. I was absolutely determined to become the Canadian Garth Brooks…with a faster metabolism.” He describes his songs as lyric driven. “I love the words and the story they tell. Words must connect with me, the right words coming together to create a song. Then you can attach a melody to those words.”

While he is well known to thousands and thousands of viewers through his videos (and during COVID he isolated himself in a recording studio to create Modern Day Problems “a collection of funny songs”), Rory loves to stand on the stage before an audience. “Performing live is my favourite thing about being an entertainer. The instant feedback you get from a live audience is hard to replicate through an Iphone.” While his family keeps him well grounded – he has two small children at home, who are already showing an interest in music – he also enjoys being on the road, out on the stage, making that strong connection with audiences.

Rory says he has performed in several churches, joking that “the sound is usually terrible, but the audiences warm and receptive. (He’s bringing his system with him.) My St. James show promises to have laughs, stories and music. Apart from my goofball humour, this show gives me a chance to play some of my original country songs, as well as take requests from the audience for their favourite cover songs. I really can’t wait to get to Morrisburg.”

Coming with him, to open for him at the St. James concert, is a fellow comedian he met on the stand up comedy circuit, “which is a tightly knit community.” Janelle Niles is a Two-spirited Black-Mi’kmaq woman from Nova Scotia. Janelle has taken her comedy to Family Feud Canada; she has a documentary on CBC GEM & CRAVE called Janelle Niles: Inconvenient.

Tickets for Rory Gardiner’s phenomenal musical/comedy performance are available from St. James or can be purchased at the door. This is going to be one show you won’t want to miss.

A portion of the proceeds will go towards St. James’ outreach programs serving the community.

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