Acoustic blues-roots pair to play for Weyburn Concert Series

Performers Nick Earle and Chris Kirby will bring their acoustic blues and roots sounds to the stage at the Cugnet Centre for the next Weyburn Concert Series presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 5, starting at 7:30 p.m.

The Newfoundland pair will bring high-level guitar playing and soulful vocals, as they play blues in the style of the Mississippi Delta along with their own style.

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Between the two of them, they have won numerous Canadian Folk Music Awards, East Coast Music awards, Music NL awards and have collected a multitude of nominations from the Maple Blues Awards.

“I’ve been doing music for a long time. I started very young,” said Kirby, noting he played in a lot of bars around St. John’s, Newfoundland, when he was old enough to get, starting off with blues and growing into roots music, rhythm-and-blues and soul.

“On this tour, we’re going close to roots and acoustic blues,” said Kirby. “I’ve known Nick since he was 12 or 13. I’ve doing music as long as he’s been alive, but we have a history musically, and it shows on stage.”

Kirby has a new record, called “What Goes Around”, and they will play some songs from it, along with traditional blues and original compositions. The album was Kirby’s first in seven years, as he has been involved in record producing in the last while, and playing in Matt Anderson’s band.

“What Goes Around” has been described as a rich soul album, with thick grooves and passionate vocals, funky keyboard parts, huge hooks and sly, sexy lyrics, tunes that reflect his love of all things Aretha, Stevie Wonder and Al Green. From being everyone's secret weapon, this East Coast all-star is taking centre stage with What Goes Around, the album he's been dying to make.

The pair are both fans of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, both legends of the Delta blues, and will do some songs from that genre.

“Some songs people might recognize that became classics, and there are hints of classic country,” said Kirby

He noted that Earle is developing into a very talented guitar player, and he is 17 years younger than Kirby.

“There’s a lot more going on than what you typically hear in this style,” said Kirby, adding with a chuckle, “I try to keep up with him as best I can.”

Noting they are both from Newfoundland, he said storytelling in between the songs is a big part of what they do, as well as good-natured banter between them, “and we include the audience throughout the show,” he said. “You have to tell a story, it’s ingrained into us, so we’re doing a lot of storytelling.

The tour with Earle was “good timing” for him, as Kirby had been looking for a performance opportunity, and this tour brings the pair into Saskatchewan through OSAC, who set up the concert dates around the province.

Tickets for the Earle and Kirby’s concert are available from the Weyburn Concert Series box offices, including Music Craft, Old Fashion Foods and the Weyburn Review/This Week office.