Musician Richard Garvey will be bringing his world-changing, foot-stomping and heart-filling folk music to Char’s Landing in Port Alberni this month.
Garvey is a guitar-strumming, banjo-plucking and sing-along-starting performer and community organizer based in Victoria, B.C. His award-winning songs explore the highs and lows of love, injustice and the marbled mess of the human condition. Whether he’s playing to a living room or an amphitheatre, Garvey brings clever songs and a sly sense of humour to inspire solidarity, hope and change.
He will be returning to perform a solo show at Char’s Landing in Port Alberni on Thursday, Sept. 8. For Garvey, it will be his “third or fourth” time playing at the former church-turned-public house.
“I’m really excited to return to Char’s,” he said in an interview with the Alberni Valley News. “It’s such a lovely venue.”
Garvey will also be debuting his newest album, titled “Light Heart.” For this production Garvey moved away from the acoustic guitar and banjo towards a full-band production with a horn section. The album consists of eight tracks that were recorded during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic with six other artists.
“We were collaborating all through email,” explained Garvey. “We all recorded our parts at home. It’s kind of special.”
Garvey says the songs from “Light Heart” are about moving away from the frustrations of burnout and self-sabotage towards hope, collaboration and dreams of a better world. He describes it as folk rock with a big band sound.
“The songs are about trying to cultivate hope and dreams in a time that was pretty bleak,” he said. “They have a lot of heart and hope in them, and I think people are needing that.”
Garvey himself had approximately 70 shows cancelled when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.
“I was on a really good path,” he said. “And that momentum kind of got squashed. This tour is me trying to return to being a musician.”
One of his favourite things to do during live shows, he said, is to encourage sing-alongs.
“It’s really fun,” he said. “When we gather and share music, it builds community. We sing ourselves together.”
The Char’s Landing show takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8 (doors open at 6:30 p.m.). Tickets can be purchased online at www.sidedooraccess.com or by calling Char at 250-730-1636.