Winnipeg musician trades in teaching for tunes

Kevin Roy was well on his way to settling into a career as a teacher before he turned to making music full time.

Kevin Roy releases his first EP 'Taller Than the Trees'

Singer-songwriter Kevin Roy with CBC Host Bruce Ladan (CBC)

Kevin Roy was well on his way to settling into a career as a teacher before he turned to making music full time.

After graduating from Kelvin High School ten years ago, Roy took a few years off. When it was time to go back to school he signed up to become a teacher. "The first day of the program, we were going around the room and hearing everyone's story," he recalled. "And about 75-80% of the people in the room were musicians. So some of us hooked up in different configurations throughout university and played in various bands."

Roy taught industrial arts, art and cooking for three years in a middle school. The tug of music turned out to be too strong. He took a leave to do music full time. "I was sitting in some jam circles and I remember looking around and being blown away by some of the talent and musicianship that I was witnessing," he said. "It really pushed me to better my skills as well."

Taller than the Trees is a new album by Kevin Roy. (Courtesy Artist website)
These days, Roy says he'll do anything music related -  from busking with his guitar on street corners, to playing day and night at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

In fact it was at the Winnipeg Folk Festival that he had a chance encounter with Emma Cloney that lead him to open for her at her album release party.

"We would go around, campfire to campfire and find friends to jam with," said Roy. "In our travels we ended up at a jammin' RV campground. It was really dimly lit, hard to see everyone...but one of the people at this jam was Emma Cloney. We got talking about her project Stars for Streetlights and she invited us to be a part of her cd launch."

Roy's first EP will be launched at a private house concert on Saturday October 19. It's called Taller than the Trees.

"I was driving past the Tuxedo golf course near Assiniboine Park and I heard this chorus hook in my head." That hook became the title song in his EP. "It just came out. I instantly recorded that hook.I still have it on my phone," he said with a smile.

There's no looking back to the blackboard for Roy.

Hear Kevin Roy in conversation with CBC host Bruce Ladan on SCENE On Air on Oct. 19. The show airs every Saturday from 5 - 6 p.m. on CBC Radio One, 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon. Roy will also play at Prairie Ink Restaurant, McNally Robinson Books on December 28.


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