The 9th instalment of Andrea England’s Four Chords And The Truth event was held on the evening of June 29th at The Dakota Tavern and like the 8 before it, it did not disappoint. Singing in the rounds were Tyler Wilkinson, Justin Nozuka, Shakura S’Aida, Cory Marquardt and of course, the mastermind herself Andrea England.
Tyler Wilkinson hit us with three powerhouse songs proving that whichever industry person told him that he “would only be a backup singer” absolutely did not know what they were talking about. A voice that hits hard combined with a mind that thinks in metaphors and rhymes makes for one hell of a main act. Tyler has been part of the music scene since he was very young and has been nominated and received many awards for his work with The Wilkinsons and Small Town Pistols (including a Grammy nom with The Wilkinsons). After hearing Tyler perform songs like Limelight, we are seriously hoping that he will release a solo album. We’ll be first in line.
Justin Nozuka took to the mic next and silenced the room with his poetry set to music and his dulcet singing. Having been a fan of Justin since his first release (Holly, 2007 – when he was only 17 years old), it was quite the opportunity to listen to his newest musings in such a warm atmosphere. He played three beautiful songs but the room went completely silent while he performed Right By You. His depth and growth is evident in his newest songs but he has always been amazing.
Shakura S’Aida was joined on stage with guitarist Paige Armstrong to perform her newest penned songs. A velvety voice that requires no microphone and heavy hitting lyrics sum up Shakura well. Peace and Love, You’re The One and Ain’t Got Nothing On Me were the three songs that Shakura shared but it was the latter of the three that sent chills through the audience. Shakura S’Aida’s rawness and vulnerable honesty was as powerful as her vocals and it was an honour to witness her art.
Cory Marquardt doesn’t need any help commanding an audience. The 6 foot 1 hockey playing pilot just happens to be one hell of a singer/songwriter as well and took to the FCATT stage to sing some originals such as Teach Me, Who I Am, and the extremely well penned breakup song My Whiskey And Your Wine. A North Bay boy, Cory’s stage presence and writing ability is that of an old musical vet.
As usual, a guest performer or two make an appearance on the FCATT stage and it is always a pleasant surprise. Kelly Prescott hopped up and played Home (recently written in Nashville with Patricia Conroy and Emma-Lee) and her crowd pleasing Heels Over Head. Recent Juno Award winners Paul Reddick accompanied by Greg Cockerel, joined the circle to perform Mourning Dove. And of course, the wonderfully talented and sweet Andrea England performed a favourite, Laundry.
A wonderfully unique event in Toronto, sponsored by Jack Daniels and in one of our favourite venues, The Dakota Tavern. Four Chords And The Truth is never the same show twice but is always very consistent with one thing, and that is the high level of talented people performing and telling their stories on stage. The next Four Chords And The Truth event will be September 14th. Tickets will undoubtedly sell out once again, you can get yours here.
Written by: Bianca Bernardi
Photos: Mike Highfield