The Sound Cafe
Four Chords And The Truth Returned In Spectacular Style At Massey Hall In Toronto
By Stevie Connor. Photo Credit: Anne Connor.
Four Chords And The Truth, presented in partnership with Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, returned to a sold out audience - after a three year break due to the pandemic - in spectacular style last night (Thursday, May 25th), to it's new home, the fourth floor of the Allied Music Centre, the brand new music venue, TD Music Hall, which is part of the Massey Hall complex in Toronto.
I've been very fortunate to have been able to attend every single show at the original venue since it's inception in 2015 in Toronto, I say show, it's more a gathering of friends and community, who come together quarterly to support and celebrate Canadian singer-songwriters from many genres of music.
Founded, curated, and hosted by Nova Scotia-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter and songwriter advocate, Andrea England, previous shows have featured the crème de la crème of Canada’s top and emerging songwriters ‘confessing’ the secrets behind their songs in an intimate semi-circle, the series has featured to date over 100 award-winning songwriters, among them Rose Cousins, Matt Mays, Dan Hill, Scott Helman, Jully Black, Paul Reddick, Don Amero, Jason McCoy, Andy Kim, Tom Cochrane, Tyler Shaw, Damhnait Doyle, Liz Rodrigues, Donovan Woods, Russell deCarle, Sylvia Tyson and many more.
Past gatherings at the original venue, The Dakota Tavern, all sold out within days of the ticket release date, last nights show at the new venue, with increased capacity, was no exception, having sold out within 24 hours of tickets going on sale, maintaining it's reputation as the 'hottest ticket in town'.
I must admit, I approached the show with some trepidation, as previous shows at the Dakota Tavern created a very intimate atmosphere, and I was not sure if that would be replicated at the new home at TD Music Hall, but, I need not have worried, there was a buzz as soon as we stepped into the venue, we greeted old friends and made some new ones pre-show, as we awaited the lights to go down.
Each individual artist on the line-up was absolutely spectacular, the old atmosphere of the presentation was beautifully kept, the audience listened intensely to the stories behind the songs, they laughed, they cried and gave rapturous applause to the performers on the night, and I must admit I shed a tear to some intimate details of songs written and performed, that's what you get with Four Chords shows, it can be, at times, an emotional journey you truly have to experience.
The performers included Liz Rodrigues who was supported by guitarist James Bryan, Julian Taylor, Adam Baldwin, Robyn Ottolino and Andrea England. As always with these shows, there were some special guest appearances that had not been announced until the artists took to the stage, introducing us to two amazing emerging artists in the new sponsored 'Tik Tok Seat', a part of the show which is eagerly anticipated.
Moving Four Chords and the Truth to a new home, the new TD Music Hall, brought the magic and intimacy of this show to more fans of the songwriter and the song, in a beautiful house custom built for music. It was a bold move, and a resounding success.
Tickets for the next show go on sale in the coming week, you have to be quick to secure a seat, check the Four Chords website and social media platforms for details to be announced.
Before closing, there was a very special ending to the show, a final special guest joined the performers on stage, before doing so, it was related to the audience how the shows name had come to fruition, and how Andrea England was introduced to non other than Gordon Lightfoot, during that conversation, he told her he had heard of the show with great interest.
Andrea related, "When I met him and told Gordon what I liked about songwriting was finding a truth and being able to make it concrete in a song, he said, “four chords and the truth”? I said, you mean three chords and the truth? I do have a show called four chords and the truth, and he said “yes, I know, that’s why I said Four Chord and the Truth!” A man at my club has been telling me about you!"
Andrea had invited Gordon to appear at the new venue, which he sadly had to turn down due to his deteriorating health, he had appeared at Massey Hall 170 times in his career, a lasting connection. And so it was, the last guest was announced as non other than Shakura S'Aida, the current artist in residence at Massey Hall, and in her inimitable style she presented a tribute to the legends that are Gordon Lightfoot and Tina Turner, the entire cast joined in, and ended a beautiful show with a beautiful moment in time.
Thank you Andrea England, thank you to the performers, and to the wonderful audience, it was a truly memorable evening of music and camaraderie that I will never forget. I look forward to the next in November, and hope to see you there.
Photo Credit: Anne Connor.