Award winning Canadian Country Music Star, Meghan Patrick was in the St Clair College Centre for the Arts’ Chrysler Theatre Saturday night for the last stop on her current Wild As Me Tour. But before the rising Canadian country music star took the stage, the audience was entertained by Sons of Daughters.
Hailing from North Vancouver, the duo of Chrystal Leigh and Jimmy Thow, perform in a very basic style with only one musical instrument, Thow’s guitar. It is their own vocal stylings, and the harmony they create, which sets them apart, something that is not only wholesome but pure Canadian country, reminiscent of the great tradition of such pioneering Canadian legends as Myrna Lorrie and Buddy DeVal.
Their hometown of Vancouver has particular significance in early country music. It was there famed music impresario Chuck Williams heard Loretta Lynn, the coal miner’s daughter, singing in a converted chicken coop. He and partner Don Grashey immediately signed the young married singer and, on behalf of their then new Zero Records, took her to Hollywood where she recorded her first hit single, I’m A Honky Tonk Girl.
Like Lynn before them, wholesomeness is one of the best descriptions for the very down to earth Sons of Daughters, so much so that they actually use their concert performances to help support their favourite charity, Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). They made the audience an offer many couldn’t refuse. Those donating to CAMH received their new EP, Pick Your Poison, free of charge.
Not stopping at an EP, the dynamic duo, who now reside in Nashville, have just released I Picture You which is nothing more basic than a love song can be. It is, they explain on their Facebook page, “the answer to the universal question, ‘I wonder if they ever think about me.’”
Certainly, in contrast, burgeoning Canadian star Meghan Patrick has a different take on that very subject. Most of her songs, in true country style, are really the tracks of her tears.
She filled her set with remembrances of loves lost, most, as she explained to the largely cowboy hat wearing audience, loves that were probably best lost.
Not to be melancholy, Patrick did mix in songs on a variety of subjects including something dear to her heart, ensuring women are represented on the country charts.
On that front, Patrick has won considerable airtime and holds a number of hard-won distinctions, including a two-year reign as Canadian Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year along with a handful of CCMA honours, including Album of the Year nominations for both her studio albums and Juno Award nominations for Country Album of the Year and Breakthrough Artist.
But all that aside, it was the quality of her music that brought her Windsor audience to their feet. For most of it, there was more than a passing similarity, or what best might be described as a tribute, to the music of Canada’s one-time reigning Country Queen, Carroll Baker. Baker was also a protégé of Williams and Grashey.
There are other similarities between Baker and Patrick. Patrick was frank about one of her songs, Things I Shouldn’t Say, which she sang with considerable gusto. The song, to put it frankly, she says, is that “women like sex.” Words like, “You ain’t afraid to love me so hard baby,” are the kind of lyrics that once put Baker in hot water.
Words in her hit, The Hungry Fire of Love, were said to be suggestive. Baker shrugged off the distractions saying it was simply about her wedding night.
However, when Patrick rocks she distinctively separates herself from Baker and brings in sounds more like Led Zeppelin than anything else. It is this new sound of rock infused country that is propelling her to great heights, but even though she rocks, she still sings about everyday situations, including a song about where to drink.
There are, she tells the audience, great sacrifices she has made in her career but concludes they have all been worth it and it has all been because country made her do it. This is precisely the title of the next song on her set list in which she musically explains, country music, “Held my hand and walked me through it. Led the way, kept me strong. It always does when I turn it on.”
While country music is turning her on, something else is too and it is causing her to write more traditional love songs, not about lost loves, but a new one she plans to keep.
If the response from Windsor on Saturday night is any gauge, Patrick is on her way. She has the right mix of music, lyrics and down-home appeal that has made country what it is and which will ensure success even if there was a bit of a wardrobe malfunction. Only those in the front rows might have noticed, but she played a number of songs with the fly on her shorts “flying at the half mast position.” It wasn’t as much embarrassing as it was a message that things happen and no one seemed to mind.
She also offered the audience of peek at songs she is currently working on, saying, it is better to air them in public before her record label spends money on a recording studio. From the response of the audience, it is clear she has a lot more to give and that seemed to make everyone happy, which is probably why, she recently made history by becoming the first solo female artist to take home the Fans’ Choice Award at the Country Music of Ontario Awards.
For more about Meghan Patrick visit https://www.meghanpatrickmusic.com/
For more about Sons of Daughters visit https://www.sonsofdaughters.com/
Upcoming shows at The Chrysler Theatre include Comedian Ron James (March 6), Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s Llama Llama (March 7), Adam D. Tucker as Tim McGraw – Dinner & Show (March 7), and Comedian Gerry Dee (March 28).
For more information and more upcoming shows visit https://www.chryslertheatre.com/
Article by Robert Tuomi
For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.