Nick Earle and Chris Kirby performing in region

HUMBOLDT, TISDALE — Newfoundland singers and songwriters Nick Earle and Chris Kirby will be visiting communities throughout the region as part of a tour organized by the Saskatchewan Arts Council.

Kirby described his music as soul.

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“I started out as a blues musician and I started to spread out and explore, and I continued to explore different genres that are sort of rooted in roots and blues music,” he said. I guess where I tend to land is I’m the funkier soul side of things.”

Kirby said his reason for going on the tour through the region was caused a breakup between Earle and his previous partner.

Earle began his career in the music industry as one half of the nationally recognized duo “Earle and Coffin,” with Joe Coffin. As part of this duo, he has received two Canadian Folk Music Awards, two MusicNL Awards as well as a multitude of ECMA, Maple Blues, and MusicNL nominations.

“Nick Earle, who I’m touring with, was in a duo, and his partner quit, and he had this tour lined up so he asked me to do it,” Kirby said.

Kirby initially rejected Earle’s offer, because he wanted to promote his own albums, but Earle made him come around to it.

“He said, ‘well, we’ll make it our duo and we’ll be promoting each other.’

I said if they’re happy to put my name on the sign, I’m happy to come play for them, and for me playing for people, especially people who probably never heard of me – and making new friends and fans and new connections all over the country. It’s an amazing feeling and it becomes addictive.”

Kirby first got into music when he was five and his mom had him learn the piano. At the time, this wasn’t something he was enthusiastic about.

“I said, ‘no’, and that was the wrong answer. She was my first piano teacher and I had no choice in the matter.

Nowadays I’m grateful for her assistance.”

Kirby said junior high school was what made him enjoy music. This is when he got introduced to playing the guitar.

“When I started playing guitar I guess it was because I was not playing classical music. When it was with the piano I was doing the lessons and the music festivals and all that kind of stuff and it was very regimented and things like that.”

With guitar he learned to create music and explore, serving as a conduit for how fun music could be.

“I sort of found a new identity… There was no turning back once I discovered I could do inventive music on the guitar.”

Kirby has since then released one cover, and everything else was his own written work, alone or with other writers.

He has written songs for The East Pointers, Stephen Fearing, The Once and Tim Chaisson.

Nick Earle and Chris Kirby will perform at the Humboldt and District Gallery on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

They will perform at the Maurice Taylor Performing Arts Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. They will be hosted by the Tisdale Arts Council.

© Copyright Humboldt Journal

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