Maritime royalty Laura Smith plays Golden house concert – Feb. 28

CBC Radio listeners of Peter Gzowski’s wonderful morning shows will certainly remember Laura Smith. Reading from Laura’s bio:

In 1996, she won two East Coast Music Awards (Female Artist, Album of the Year) and two Juno nominations (for Best New Solo Artist and Best Roots and Traditional Album). In 1995, her song “Shade of Your Love” was the most played Adult Contemporary song in Canada. In 1997, she won a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program or Series. At the request of CBC radio personality, Peter Gzowski, who was receiving a Governor’s General Award, she performed “My Bonny” at the prestigious Ottawa ceremony. Her heartbreaking adaptation of the Scottish chestnut, on b’tween the earth and my soul, had haunted the broadcast host since he first heard it. Of the evening, she recalls, “It will always stand as one of the great honours of my career.”

Ruth and Dave Ratzlaff have graciously opened their house for Laura’s visit. KHC will sell 50 tickets in advance available for $20 at AGOG – cash only please for this ticket. All proceeds will go to Laura.

This will sell out so don’t delay…LauraHomeRelease

Here’s a review from the knowledgable and esteemed journalist Peter Goddard writing in the Toronto Star.

Anyone concerned that Canada’s musical conscience died along with Rita MacNeil should listen to Everything Is Moving, by Laura Smith. The distinctive East Coast singer overcame as many privations and setbacks as MacNeil only to emerge “stronger and happier than before,” as Smith says. This 10-song collection, five her own — empathetically recorded by veteran producer Paul Mills along with Smith herself — is not solely about survival although the idea threads itself through songs like Smith’s own “I Built A Boat” about her reconstructed life. “The hardest part was starting,” Smith sings, her ghostly voice sending chills down your spine. “I don’t know when I’ll be through.”

The singer’s first album in 16 years reflects a musical heritage rejiggered but never rejected. Its Celtic roots are found in the vintage balladeering of “Magdalen McGillivray,” Alex Sinclair’s song about a long-suffering pioneer woman — “three babies I have buried” — and in the melodic contours of “Gartan Mother’s Lullaby,” based on an old tune found in Donegal in Ireland. Like Joni Mitchell, Smith extends her traditions with such creative dynamism that the traditions will now be forced to keep up. The blues Smith sings about in her “The Blues And I,” are not the blues Billie Holiday knew. Smith’s blues are the luminous deep sea cobalt blue painted by East Coast artists Alex Colville and Christopher Pratt. “We see eye to eye,” she sings backed by Guido Basso’s soulful flugelhorn, painting “the blues and I” with a distinctly Canadian colour.

Peter Goddard