On Friday, June 27th we will be part of the Toronto City Roots Festival opener at Hugh’s Room. The show celebrates the famed Yorkville coffee house called The Riverboat, which was a Mecca for musicians on the folk scene in the 1960’s and 70’s. On this special night performers who are scheduled to play at the Toronto City Roots Festival in the Distillery District that weekend, have been invited to cover songs of icons who played at The Riverboat during its heyday. We are going to cover the music of Ian and Sylvia!
Not long ago, after more than a few people had asked us if we could play one of their songs, we pulled together the words and chords for ‘Someday Soon’ and ‘Four Strong Winds’ and have been playing them in the subway ever since. We had also started working on ‘You Were On My Mind’. When the call came for the Riverboat Revival we thought, this is great, we already know their songs so it should be an easy prep.
After listening to an Ian and Sylvia Greatest Hits CD, I realized that we were doing a version of other versions of those songs. Their music has been covered by so many artists over the years, that our memories of the songs were a composite of all those interpretations. Not only had phrasings and tempo changed with recordings by various artists, but in some cases the words had changed quite significantly.
We decided to go back to the original and work from there. We are not trying to do an imitation but we figured we will perform our version of Ian and Sylvia songs, not our version of Judy Collins, We Five, or Neil Young doing their versions of Ian and Sylvia songs. I have always liked them but over the past few weeks I think I’ve become a real fan of Ian and Sylvia. I hadn’t realized what a huge impact they have had on music in Canada.
Hope you can make it out to the Riverboat Revival on the 27th. There is a whole roster of great performers covering the music of folks like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Steve Goodman, and Phil Ochs. I think it will be a great night. Here’s a link to the details www.torontocityroots.com
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