Singer-songwriter, David Newberry has returned home to Toronto. Though his words, songs, and music all resonate wherever he’s played in Canada. His new album is titled “Replacement Things”. With the album Newberry continues to explore life, more so his, than in his previous 2012 album “No One Will Remember You”.
On Thursday October 1, and Friday October 2, Newberry will officially release his new album at Toronto’s the Cameron House (408 Queen St. West). Newberry himself says his career has been in parts playing as “folk singer” and “rock band”. In the following interview with atombash.com, for the upcoming two-nighter he said, “Given my love for Toronto, and for the Cameron House, and for this record, I wanted to play a show for both groups.”
David Newberry scheduled an online interview with Examiner in advance of the October 1st and 2nd shows.
Ryan Ayukawa: After living and performing in Vancouver and western Canada, what brought you back to living and performing in Toronto?
David Newberry: It was more of a delayed homecoming than a move. I went out to BC for one year of school eleven years ago, and it just took me a little while to come back. I’m also older, and being close to family, friends, and my partner is a higher priority than it was a decade ago.
And on top of that, Toronto is a better place to tour from. Another side effect of getting older is that the idea of being on the road for six or eight weeks at a time is exhausting. From Vancouver, the next closest big gig is Calgary. From Toronto, there’s easily 20 cities I can hit up within afternoon driving distance.
RA: Did the Toronto move coincide with the new album and releasing it in other cities (more easily)?
DN: Yes and no. Recording the album was the last thing I did in Vancouver, and certainly wanting to tour it more easily was part of the decision to move east. That said, the first part of my release tour happened out west. I think releasing the record there first was a bit of a ‘thank you’ to the city for giving me this album.
RA: You mentioned getting older and changing priorities. Do those two things enter in to the songs on the album?
DN: Absolutely. While I certainly hope it doesn’t read like a diary entry, the songwriting on this album involved a lot more self reflection than anything I’ve released in the past. I think it’s inevitable. Everything (including songwriting) comes a little slower now, and with requires more effort. Not that it’s less rewarding. It all feels a little more uphill than it did when I was 20, but I suppose I could use the exercise.
But mistakes and consequences mean more now, and accomplishments are more easily problematized and put into perspective. And yet at the same time there’s more urgency to everyone. I’m certainly not an old man yet, but I’m just starting to come to realize that life is finite. I’ve got a lot to fit in, and I might already be halfway through the maze.
RA: Let’s talk about the Cameron House. For folks reading this, and perhaps not yet been to it recently (it was renovated this year), what can they expect from your 2 night album release there?
DN: I am extremely excited about these shows.
My career has been defined (and perhaps suffered from) the fact that I move between the poles of “folk singer” and “rock band.” While I can’t imagine doing it any other way, it’s led to a bit of a bifurcation of my audience.
Given my love for Toronto, and for the Cameron House, and for this record, I wanted to play a show for both groups. On Thursday from 8-10 I’ll be performing in-the-round with Scott Cook from Alberta and David Ross MacDonald from Australia. These guys are monster songwriters. I don’t know that I would even understand the world if they hadn’t explained it to me in their songs. It’s an honour and we’ll be strumming and telling stories for two solid hours (8-10).
But for the people who just don’t want to sit still and listen for two hours, we’ve planned a proper Friday night party. 10pm-late I’ve assembled a proper rock band (plus a proper string section) to deliver the record’s harder edges. Opening that night is Don Kerr’s Communism, easily one of my favourite rock acts in the city.
I love them because they embrace the same Pete Seeger-inspired ethic that I try to: It’s a hard world, and we have a lot of work to do, but it isn’t inappropriate to have a blast while we’re doing it.
Both shows will feature different interpretations of the songs on the record, as well as older material appropriate for each setup. Anyone who comes to both can have a free copy of the new record.
RA: What’s next for you after the album release in Toronto?
DN: I’m going to spend October and November touring Ontario and Quebec with a few great BC acts like Jenny Ritter and Miss Quincy. We’ll be in Hamilton, Wakefield, Montreal, Ottawa, Niagara, and more. Folks can find info and tickets at www.davidnewberrymusic.com
Then it’s time to woodshed for the winter and get back to the creative part.
I don’t think people realize how much “being a musician” actually means “sitting at your laptop” or “driving” or, in todays case, running from a label meeting to a rehearsal to an interview to a check-in with the people making the next video.
Come winter, I think I’ll disconnect my phone and, you know, play some music.
David Newberry official website
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