Songs in Maritime minor 

Leanne Lamoureux back from tour

Where has singer-songwriter Leanne Lamoureux been?

On a cross-country tour, jamming at the open mic nights of the Maritimes.

"Playing to people live there, and not tourists, means you give them something interesting and unique," said the recently returned Lamoureux. "Busking is one way to get a real feel for a town, and so are open mic nights."

Out east, she played the more obscure selections from traditional Maritime fare, like The Rocky Road to Dublin, for an audience well versed in the repertoire of traditional Celtic-influenced songs. She also played songs from her own CD and the band Raven’s CD.

Raven, which included Stephen Vogler and Lamoureux, reunites this fall.

"Going to festivals, and seeing the scene on the East Coast was really good," said Lamoureux, who’s itinerary included the Stan Rogers Festival near Cape Breton.

Some new songs she wrote while away include Fishin’ for Boys, and a "more perfected" version of Scallywags.

"In the traditional villages nearby, they have a certain way of hearing these traditional songs," says Lamoureux, who emphasized in those cases, her songs remained traditional.

"But if Martimers in Whistler hear the way I do a traditional song, they really like it."

Her tour included stops at Cannabis Day in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and some open mic nights in Toronto.

"I’m definitely in a period of transition," says Lamoureux, a former windsurfing champ who moved into guitar playing, and additional instruments like the tin whistle, through the ’90s.

Lamoureux recently ended her two-year partnership as Leanne and Kyla, the Celtic strings duo who played shows at the Dubh Linn Gate.

"A lot of people still ask for the show, but we’re in a new era now," she says.

The amicable split sees both artists moving in other music directions.

Lamoureux hopes to build on the Canadian festivals circuit in the next year, and says she definitely "absorbed some wackiness" while touring St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Early in her music career, guessing what audiences wanted and were feeling was one way of performing, but not the best way.

"Now I say ‘this is my show and I’ll express myself the best way I can.’

"Music is something deep down I’ve always known I could do," says Lamoureux.

Her dream show?

The annual Winnipeg Folk Festival, the 28-year old venue for Canadian folk artists everywhere, which takes place in Bird’s Hill Park in July.

She continues to play additional gigs.

Lamoureux also played the Tall Ships festival in Steveston this past month with "Bongo Rich" Doucette and musician Amelia.

Catch Lamoureux at the Dubh Linn Gate with Doucette and Phil Richard on Aug. 29. Lamoureux also plays with Phil Richard at the Crystal Lounge on Aug. 23 and 24.


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