Nina, wife of singer/songwriter David Myles must be the luckiest wife in Canada. Her husband exercises regularly, eats healthy foods even when he tours, and he writes her love songs. Lots of beautiful love songs.
He’s also the nice kind of person who waves at people. Assiniboia, he found, is a friendly place full of drivers who took time to wave back. That was even before we heard him sing.
It was Wednesday evening, Oct. 11, 2012, when patrons of the Assiniboia & District Arts Council concert series discovered how well David Myles, Alan Jeffries and Kyle Cunjak perform together. Their fingers moved over the strings with jawdropping speed and skill, vocal harmonies blended.
Best of all, while there was tons of energy and excitement, the volume throughout the concert was down in the ‘purely pleasure’ range. Some of the accompaniment could be more felt than heard, like a heartbeat.
David Myles, bassist Kyle Cunjak and guitarist Alan Jeffries were cleancut fellows in narrow suits reminiscent of the 1950’s, detailed right down to the thin little ties and the kind of tie bars you can’t buy anymore. David had a natty little pocket square he’d cut out of the back of his shirt. He wore heavy black-rimmed glasses to complete the impression that this could be Buddy Holly’s Twin Brother and Friends. A single slim black BOSE speaker, like a solitary fence post, delivered their sound in the Prince of Wales hall with a ‘living-room’ intimacy.
Very well known in other parts of Canada, David Myles was voted Songwriter of the Year by the East Coast Music Association and nominated for seven different categories this year. “The songs just sort of arrive,” Myles said of his gift. His lyrics really seemed inspired, the word plays skillful and charming.
Particularly enjoyable were the sentiments so well expressed in “Pair of Shoes,” “When it Comes My Turn” and “Turn Time Off.” This Saskatchewan tour takes them far from their Halifax home, but they have been farther – twice in Australia this year alone. Once the Saskatchewan concerts are finished the drive on to British Columbia for a number of concerts there. To make this cross- Canada trip even more exciting, these three musicians with their two guitars, a bass, and the Bose sound equipment already packed into one car will be joined by David’s wife, Nina, (the lucky one) and their three-month-old daughter, Maria. The title of their blog page reads “17 concerts, 3 musicians and a baby.” Fortunately they will also be joined by another car.
Besides space constraints, perhaps navigating around Western Canada could also pose a challenge for the group.
“To drive from Regina to Weyburn, there is only one turn,” David recounted, “but we missed it.” Please, gentlemen, don’t drive straight through the Rockies. North Dakota won’t be there to catch you.
While David’s father is a New Brunswick high school music teacher and there were not one but two pianos in the house, it was playing trumpet in his elementary school band that made David fall in love with music.
David said, “Never underestimate the value of a school band!” Don’t be misled by the geeky glasses and the loving lyrics. David Myles is no pushover. He studied political science at Mount Allison University and worked in the Ontario Legislature for a year. He follows politics passionately. Climate change is front and centre on his radar. He had the strength not to become a medical doctor like his three brothers; he felt maybe love songs could cure the world faster than medicine or politics. The message he wants to carry especially to the good people in small towns everywhere is the importance of learning how to live well as we age, how to laugh, how to slow down and look around us, how to bounce and – how to help your wife feel she’s the luckiest
After the concert, bassist Kyle Cunjak dismantled his six-foot instrument and packed the neck and strings all into the body of the bass through a back door. Now much more compact, it fit easily into a compact protective case. Myles explained. “[Because of airline regulations] you can’t fly with an ordinary upright bass so this [packability] is a tremendous advantage. It’s called a Chadwick bass after the man who builds them. Because only one man builds them there are probably only around two hundred of them, each one numbered.”
Amazingly, two of these have been played on the Steve Wald Stage in Assiniboia in the last six months.
Thanks yet again to Assiniboia & District Arts Council for bringing performers of this calibre (and Chadwick basses) to our town.
by Gail Delorme, The Times (SK)