David Myles sings about hope

June 10, 2011
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David Myles sings about hope
The Ottawa Sun – June 9th, 2011

The first time I came across David Myles was in April when his latest recording Live at the Carleton landed on my desk.

Now, I get a lot of live recordings, most of them attempt to give you a sense of what the music is like live, but in Myles’ case, it’s the stuff he says between songs that’s almost as important as his music.

Part stand-up comedian, part poet-singer and songwriter, Myles is in fine form here, accompanied by longtime guitarist Alan Jeffries and upright bass-player Kyle Cunjak. It’s his fifth CD, with some of his best-known songs, Pair of Shoes, Turn Time Off and When It Comes My Turn.

There are also some very funny song introductions that include stories about Bruce Springsteen, environmental issues with David Suzuki, the art of repetitive songwriting with Randy Bachman and his secret ambition to become the next Marvin Gaye that make the disc addictive.

Myles clearly loves that connection with the audience as much as he loves touching hearts with a bittersweet lovesong.

“I love to write love songs because they’re great to sing, but I’m tall and skinny and if the song gets too hot, it makes folk uncomfortable,” Myles said during a stop in his current tour in Fredericton.

“I have a sense of humour, so I like to write songs that have hope and a sense of humour. I want my show to be sincere and authentic.”

Not only is he funny, but he’s a pretty clever songwriter as well. A native of Fredericton, Myles, 30, released his first album of acoustic folk-soul-pop Together and Alone in 2005 and since then, he’s released a new album at a rate of almost one a year with Things Have Changed in 2006, On The Line, in 2008. In 2009, his song Don’t Drive Through competed in CBC Radio’s Great Canadian Song Quest and his fourth album Turn Time Off won the East Coast Music Award for Folk Recording of the Year last year, just as On The Line”had in 2009.

“I like my songs because they’re direct in the same way a country song has a clear direction,” Myles explains. “You know what the song’s about as soon as you hear it.”

“I call it folk the same way James Taylor and Paul Simon is folk. I admire great singers like Chet Baker, Sam Cooke, Lyle Lovett and Marvin Gaye because they appreciate showmanship. “That’s why I made the live CD. The show is much more than singing songs.”