February 28, 2014

Songwriters in the Round: a benefit for the music program at Westacres Public School on March 21, 2014

For me, it's all about the song. That magical combination of rhythm, melody and lyrics that manages to connect with my heart and soul. Without the songs, it doesn't matter how well the singers sing or the players play.

On March 21, in the Auditorium at Cawthra Park High School in Mississauga Ontario, it's all about the song, and the music program at Westacres Public School. For the third year running, community member and songwriter Rob Wells is bringing together a diverse group of artists for a night called Songwriters In The Round. It's an informal, relaxed evening where songwriters tell the stories and inspiration behind their songs and deliver stripped-down performances, all while raising money for a great cause.

This year, the songwriters are Gowan, Emm Gryner, Rob Wells, Divine Brown and Dan Kanter.

Gowan is a multi-platinum selling Juno award winning Canadian artist who had huge hits in the 80s and 90s with songs like "A Criminal Mind", "(You're a) Strange Animal", "Moonlight Desires" and "Dancing On My Own Ground". Since 1999, he has been lead singer for Styx. I've been a big Gowan fan since my younger days and saw him perform at the Ontario Place Forum - a revolving stage venue that has since been replaced by the Molson Amphitheatre.

Emm Gryner is a Juno nominated Canadian singer/songwriter, musician & actress. Her songs, singing and unique take on interpreting the songs of others has given her a prominent place in my own music collection. Ever since I first heard the magic earworm of "Summerlong" and through "Beautiful Things", "89 Days of Alcatraz", "Lose My Head" and many more, I've loved her songs. Her new album Torrential comes out April 8.

Rob Wells is the event organizer and producer/songwriter for pop sensations including Selena Gomez, Nick Lachey and Justin Bieber.

Divine Brown is a Universal Music recording artist and Canadian Juno award winning R&B singer.

Dan Kanter is a musical director, songwriter and producer for Justin Bieber and many others.

What: Songwriters In The Round
When: March 21st, 2014, 7pm to approximately 10pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Where: Cawthra Park Secondary School's Auditorium, 1305 Cawthra Rd, Mississauga, ON L5G 4L1
Why: To benefit the music program at Westacres Public School
Tickets: $20 for adults and $10 for those 18 and under, available from Westacres Public School, 905-277-0912, 2165 Breezy Brae Dr, Mississauga, ON L4Y 1N3

Here are some tunes written by each of the songwriters:

Gowan's "A Criminal Mind", "Moonlight Desires" and "Dancing On My Own Ground". Yes, that's Jon Anderson of Yes singing on "Moonlight Desires".

Emm Gryner's "Summerlong", the first tune I ever heard of her's, and "Beautiful Things". If you're interested in unique cover interpretations, seek out her album Girl Versions.

Rob Wells' "I Can't Hate You Anymore" and "Rollin"

Divine Brown's "Old Skool Love"

Dan Kanter's "Be Alright"