One can almost imagine it.
Kevin Roy, Canadian alt-country singer/songwriter, in a classroom of 60 middle school kids, teaching them how to cook, work with wood and make art.
Saws. Knives. Paintbrushes. These were the tools of his trade – but he cashed them all in for a guitar and a country-esque singing voice.
“Before I made the decision to leave my career, it was really tugging at my sleeve,” he says. His friends and family agreed – he should chase the dream.
“I mean, even 10 years ago, before I went to university, I was in a similar position, where I was debating doing music full time,” he says. “It was something that I didn’t want to pass it up again.”
Now he enjoys a life of musical cross-country travel, visiting places from coast to coast, sharing his music in “personal” stage shows and soaking in inspiration from coast to coast. But there’s really little difference between the two professions, he says.
“Every night and every day, you’re in front of a group of people; you need to keep their attention and entertain them, really,” he says, “and maybe even educate to some degree.”
His performances pull the audience closer in than with most other live sets. Between songs that Roy describes as “folk music set to the sound of country,” he’ll talk with the audience, as if they’re all friends sitting on a couch in his living room, hanging out.
“I like to draw on stories and things that I’ve seen on the road and talk a little bit about where the songs are coming from,” he says.
And they’ve come from interesting places.
“Right now, I’m on a three-month tour and I’ve been everywhere between British Columbia and Ontario,” he says. “A week and a half ago, I was even up north in Churchill, Man., staving off polar bears up in the tundra. It was pretty cool.”
His EP, Taller Than the Trees, shows themes of a future of uncertainty in a “raw, off the floor acoustic” package, all inspired by his transition from teacher to musician. Themes that at the core, many should be able to relate to, when they hear his performance at The Root: Community Emporium this Thursday, Nov. 13.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Lloydminster and finally sharing some music and stories out there,” he says.
Also on stage will be singer/songwriter,Megan Nash. Tickets for the evening at $10 each. The show begins at 8 p.m.