CHARLOS COVE – Feeling a little country, or perhaps a little folk? Fortunately two outstanding lights from the Canadian Country/ Folk music scene-- Cindy Church and Susan Crowe-- are now on tour in Nova Scotia. Originally from Nova Scotia, these artist have been nominated for Junos and numerous other awards. They have been part of collaborative projects with other well-known Canadian musicians such as Ian Tyson and Raylene Rankin, to name a couple. Last week Church spoke with The Journal about the current tour with Crowe that includes a stop in Charlos Cove at the Seawind Landing Country Inn on Friday, April 29.
Church, who is originally from Bible Hill, Nova Scotia got her start in the country music business in western Canada. She headed west after high school and started her career with partner Nathan Tinkham in British Columbia. Her career really got off the ground when she began working with Ian Tyson and recording with his band. From those early days in the 1980s Church went on to success after success with both collaborative (Great Western Orchestra, Quartette, Lunch At Allen’s ) and solo projects making up her repertoire.
Church recently moved back to Nova Scotia after a long stint in Toronto and decided, after getting settled, to do a local tour. When asked what prompted her decision to return to the Maritimes she said,“I wanted a bit more of a chilled life. But I still basically commute to Toronto...I wanted to be closer to my family and closer to the ocean.”
Church said that although she’s from an area that is considered the epicentre of celtic music in North America, she grew up in a country music household. “It’s always been and always will be my great love...My mom was a really great country singer. She used to sing on CKCL radio in Truro with two other girls when she was a teenager. I just grew up with that music, the real traditional country stuff and it is still my favourite thing. But I also love singing jazz. I sing whatever songs I like and that I think I could represent well. I would say that I am known as a country music singer.”
Church said that although there was always music in her house growing up, she was not one of those kids who thought they would be a singer. “It’s like I fell into it. As a kid I was always singing.” She noted that her singing companion in her childhood was her brother, who was, according to Church, very talented.
Since then she has had a career that has spanned over 30 years and Church said she has had a lot of wonderful opportunities over that time. She’s especially grateful for the time she spent working with Ian Tyson, Sylvia Tyson, Raylene Rankin and her current collaborator Susan Crowe. “All the collaborative situations for me, have been the highlights.”
When asked what audiences can expect from the current tour, Church said the shows would be a cozy mix of rootsy, acoustic music with both Church and Crowe on vocals and playing on each others songs. “Our shows are kind of like being around the kitchen playing songs.”
With a large back catalogue, one would guess it would be hard for Church to pick out a favourite, one that she wants to sing at every performance but she said there’s no contest, she typically starts every show with the song The Only Star I See. “I don’t know what it is but I never get tired of singing it.”
Church and Crowe will be on tour throughout Nova Scotia from April to June.