The Dakota Tavern was host to the sold-out 8th instalment of Four Chords And The Truth on the evening of March 23rd. A packed house did not come as a surprise, especially with a lineup featuring David Leask, Jully Black, Justin Rutledge, Sarah MacDougall, creator and host Andrea England and special guests. Those who are familiar with the series know that it is a songwriters circle in which each artist takes turns sharing stories about the songs that they have written and then perform them for the audience.
David Leask first invited us into his creative mind with a song entitled The Good Fight and the topical Freedom By The Barrel. The song that really stood out to me was the ballad When You Think No One Loves You which David performed with so much emotion on the piano. The Scottish born musician has a powerful voice and knows exactly how to use it.
With a voice (and spirit) that could fill The Dakota 10 times over, the microphone in front of Jully Black was more of an accessory than a necessity. A common discussion throughout the night with all of the artists was one of the current state of the world, specifically with our brothers and sisters to the south of us. Jully pointed out that people gathered together in love and support of artists and music was “Canada” and that “we build bridges, not walls.” Jully, alongside guitarist and vocalist Geoff Willingham, performed songs consistent with that theme of banding together. Running and Glass Ceiling speak to that topic beautifully.
Justin Rutledge is not only an extremely talented singer/songwriter/musician but also unknowingly an endearing comedian. During his story telling, Justin had everyone laughing and then immediately silent as they intensely listened to the outcome of whatever the funny experience was. The heart wrenching song Turn Around was prefaced with a story of the songs placement in a film featuring a naked Zac Efron in the shower and The Wire was prefaced with an “I really don’t remember writing this song”. Best of all was his story of panning for gold, melting it down and proposing to his beautiful fiancé Sarah Keenleyside before singing Out Of The Woods.
Sarah MacDougall at Four Chords And The Truth 👌 pic.twitter.com/72TF4oqSEF
— Mike Highfield (@MC_Highfield) April 8, 2017
Swedish born/Whitehorse based Sarah MacDougall shared her intensity with the audience through not only her lyrics but her voice itself. With her repertoire consisting of a song about a serial killer in Sweden in I Want To See The Light. One inspired by darkness, dehydration and heartbreak called Permafrost. A favourite of Prince William and Kate Middleton entitled It’s A Storm (What’s Going On), it is obvious that the renowned folkstress doesn’t shy away from tough subject matter.
Special guests for the evening included the very talented country artist Mallory Johnson who performed Just Like You and had the whole room laughing and Colin MacDonald of The Trews, who performed Ishmael & Maggie and lead a sing-a-long of The Tragically Hip’s Wheat Kings.
Once again, Andrea England organized a beautiful evening full of talented performers, herself included. A very lucky fan also won a beautiful Jack Daniels guitar that was signed by many of the artists that have played for Four Chords, proceeds benefiting the Unison Benevolent Fund. The Dakota Tavern is a perfect venue for a night of music and a full spectrum of styles and emotions. The 9th instalment will be on June 29th and tickets are available through Ticketfly.
Written By: Bianca Bernardi
Photos By: Mike Highfield