Thu, Apr 11, 2013.
Here's a shout-out for a show happening tonight (Thursday) at the Cedar Tree in Fredericton, one of my favourite area singer-songwriters. Okay, who am I kidding, I have about 200 favourites as you no doubt know, but Norma MacDonald has the goods, absolutely. I'm just listening to an acoustic version of her Cordelia, from her third and latest release, Morning You Wake, from 2011. Stripped-down and solo, it's still a captivating song, inspired by the character found in Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye. The New Waterford, N.S. roots singer has a lovely, expressive voice tinged with sadness, which takes me to my next YouTube find, a version of her strumming the Roy Orbison classic, Blue Bayou, again solo. That's how we'll see her at the Cedar Tree show, although she will be bringing along her collection of rich characters, such as the Comeback Kid, about a fall from grace and attempted redemption. The country in her voice really shines through on these numbers shot through with sorrow.
As always, the Cedar Tree is an excellent spot for these songwriter shows, lots of leg room but still intimate and friendly, and you can hear and see, no chatter from people just there to drink or be seen. Opening will be Saint John's Clinton Charlton, always a fine performer as well.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).