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Full Meal Deal

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Sure they've all sung for their supper at one time or another, but these musicians aren't doing it for themselves this time. It's a songwriter's circle for charity this weekend on the X plus an excerpt from Diane Warren's Governor General award-winning novel "Cool Water".

One morning four years ago Chris Brinklow, a musician and teachers aid at one of Saskatoon's Community Schools, was faced with a Grade 4 student. The student reluctantly admitted his Mom had no food in the house and he was crying because he was hungry.

Chris decided that instead of just feeling bad about it, he would do what he could to help. He brought together ten singer/songwriters who donated their time and talent to put on a concert where the money donated at the door went to The Saskatoon Food Bank. The musicians showed up - gladly - willing to support a cause they believed in. And four years later this concert for the Food Bank is still going strong.

The format, two songwriter's circles of five solo musicians, lends itself to performances where impromptu backup complement the live, immediacy of the 'un-plugged' sound. The audience is treated to mostly original music chosen with the Christmas season and the Food Bank in mind. This relaxed evening of giving is perfected placed in the midst of people's busy season.

We couldn't possibly fit all the songwriters into one show, so we've taken a small sample for your listening pleasure.

smokekiller.jpgsmokekiller, known to his friends as John Antoniuk, has showcased at SXSW, nxne, and Canadian Music Week. He was a national finalist in 2009 for the Radiostar Songwriting Competition.

Megan Nash hails from a small farm near Mortlach.  She's played everywhere from small town festivals to the Country Craven Jamboree.  She'se set to release her debut CD in 2011.


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Farideh is a fierce and sassy powerhouse who is known for her ability to tell stories that run the gamut from heartbreaking to hilarious.


Sarah Farthing is a songwriter whose sweet acoustic stylings are tempered by the haunting warmth of her voice. She released her debut EP in 2010.


Mark Ceaser is a performer who knows how to connect with people. His percussive guitar sets the tone for his sincere storytelling and emotionally driven songwriting.


Chris Brinklow is a Saskatoon songwriter who writes about life, love, and everytthing in between.  He's also the heart and soul behind the Songs for Supper fundraiser.


If you'd like to hear more, please check out CBC Radio 2's Concert on Demand site, where you'll find Part One and Part Two of Songs for Supper.

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A first-time novelist, Dianne Warren is best known for her short stories and plays. One of her three published plays, Serpent in the Night Sky, was a GG finalist in 1992, and she has written several radio dramas for CBC. She has published three short story collections - one of which, Bad Luck Dog (1993), won three Saskatchewan Book Awards. Her stories can also be found in numerous anthologies, journals and magazines. A long-time resident of Saskatchewan, she brings to her writing an honest portrayal of people in rural communities, conveying their subtle complexities and deep attachments to family farmland. Dianne Warren was born in Ottawa, and is currently living in Regina.

Here's how her publisher describes her Governor General award-winning novel "Cool Water":

"Juliet, Saskatchewan, is a blink-of-an-eye kind of town -- the welcome sign announces a population of 1,011 people -- and it's easy to imagine that nothing happens on its hot and dusty streets. Situated on the edge of the Little Snake sand hills, Juliet and its inhabitants are caught in limbo between a century -- old promise of prosperity and whatever lies ahead.

But the heart of the town beats in the rich and overlapping stories of its people: the foundling who now owns the farm his adoptive family left him; the pregnant teenager and her mother, planning a fairytale wedding; a shy couple, well beyond middle age, struggling with the recognition of their feelings for one another; a camel named Antoinette; and the ubiquitous wind and sand that forever shift the landscape. Their stories bring the prairie desert and the town of Juliet to vivid and enduring life.

This wonderfully entertaining, witty and deeply felt novel brims with forgiveness as its flawed people stumble towards the future."