Their eyewear isn’t the only thing in common: all three members of Girls With Glasses are songwriters with something to say. Their performance at the Registry Theatre tonight (Saturday) will be steeped in the folk tradition.
Which works out well, it being the third in a series of concerts dubbed Folk Night at the Registry.
A one-off show involving Ontario singer-songwriters Karyn Ellis, Eve Goldberg and Evalyn Parry back in 2004 went so well, the three now tour annually. The stop in Kitchener should provide plenty of entertainment, and even more food for thought, suggested Jack Cole of The Old Chestnuts Song Circle, the man behind the series.
In Girls With Glasses, those in the intimate confines of the theatre will find tunes that are “by turns hilarious, evocative, poignant, uplifting and powerful … with stellar songwriting, beautiful harmonies, and imaginative arrangements.”
The show will be opened by Darrell Grant, the singer-songwriter and guitarist behind the New Brunswick folk trio Modabo.
With these performers, and the series in general, Cole is looking to provide greater exposure for folk music, the genre he loves.
“I’m a rabid evangelist for folk music, and have been for years,” he explained in an interview, noting the form has had its ups and downs, having had a huge peak in the 1960s.
But it’s a genre with all kinds of styles. For some, folk evokes images of Bob Dylan, The Weaves and Peter, Paul and Mary. That’s certainly part of the tradition, but it extends to roots music, Celtic, alt-country and shades of bluegrass, itself enjoying something of resurgence thanks to the likes of Alison Krauss.
There are performers such as Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn and Joni Mitchell – Canadians all – who can still pack large halls, but there’s a host of other great songwriters out plying their trade in small venues, he said. It’s those acts that make up the bulk of the Folk Night at the Registry presentations.
The next show, set for Mar. 14, will feature Ron Hynes, an award-winning Newfoundland performer with some exposure to a mainstream audience. A double feature follows on Apr. 18, with performances by Dave Gunning (Nova Scotia) and Maria Dunn (Edmonton).
“These are great performers, the kind people should get out to see,” Cole said, noting the core following typically gains recruits after newcomers attend a show.
Keeping the music out there is his goal. So much so that he hosts song circles and performances in his home, both to please the fans and to help support musicians on the road, passing the hat for $10 or $15 a head to help them continue their tours.
The Girls With Glasses show goes Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. at the Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick St., Kitchener. Tickets are $14 in advance ($16 at the door), available at the Centre In The Square box office by calling 578-1570 or toll free 1-800-265-8977 or online at www.centre-square.com. For more information about the series, visit www.folknight.ca.