I have a rocky relationship with singer-songwriters. It’s easy for artists who write their own songs to fall into a self-referential void, either by allowing either their ego or their righteousness over a particular issue to overcome their music. This leads to a disconnect between the artist and the audience, and this disconnect leads to annoyance. It’s not the earnestness of a typical singer-songwriter that wears an audience down, it’s the lack of connection. So I sometimes forget how powerful a singer-songwriter can be if they have as much talent as a performer as they do as a songwriter. New Brunswick singer-songwriter David Myles proved this to me.
I had no idea who he was when I stumbled in to his set in the East Coast (of Canada) Music Association room (actually, all the artists they booked turned out to be amazing). He dressed to the nines in a suit and tie (he joked that he had convinced his dad to let him become a musician over a lawyer by promising to dress for success every day), was skinny as a rail, and completely charming. He told stories, cracked jokes, smiled up a storm and made us all feel like performing was his favourite thing in the whole world. It was the kind of performance that gives you the kind of goofy smile that you feel slightly embarrassed about, but are totally unable to wipe off your face.
He was kind enough to pass along some CDs to me, and listening after the show, I was impressed that the same performance intensity that so wowed me at his concert was also present on the album. He’s an earnest singer-songwriter in the absolute best sense of the word: he earnestly wants to share his music with you, and after listening or catching him live, you’ll be grateful that he did.