MORRISBURG — It was easy to hear the excitement, the joy in Kerri Ough’s voice, during an interview with The leaderwhen she talked about returning to the live concert stage.
She and fellow singer/musician/lyricist Caroline Brooks and Susan Passmore, best known to their legions of fans as the phenomenal Good Lovelies, finally arrive on the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage on Saturday, May 7 at 7 p.m.
It’s a gig that eager fans have been waiting for since 2020, when COVID canceled the SLAS season. And the Good Lovelies are just as thrilled to finally come to the Playhouse. As Kerri put it, “Standing on a stage is magic. That’s what we like.
The Good Lovelies, who have always called themselves a “touring band”, formed in 2006. They won a Juno for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year in 2010, and their 2018 song, ” I See Gold,” reached No. 1 on the CBC Music Charts and earned the group a SOCAN Music Award.
Therefore, the COVID shutdowns have hit them hard. They went from 80 shows a year to 10 digital shows. “In some ways we were lucky,” Kerri said. “The online audiences were always tuned in, and the three of us stayed connected, sharing our lives, because we’re best friends with each other. But the things you had taken for granted have suddenly disappeared when COVID hit.
Now that the world is reopening and concert commitments are increasing rapidly, the Good Lovelies are excited to re-establish a strong connection with live audiences. “Playing in an empty room, a monitor or another person is strangely exhausting. My husband has been my only audience for two years: frankly, he’s ready for me to get back on the road,” laughs Kerri.
Noted for their stunning harmonies and inspired songwriting, the trio is currently engaged in the creation of a new album. Kerri talked about what makes The Good Lovelies so unique, so beloved by fans.
“I think we’re ready to take different paths when we make music. Our Good Lovelies sound is built on the fact that we sing in harmony, and we change those harmonies. We really want listeners to feel better after one of our shows than they did when they arrived. Ours is, you might say, a roots sound that involves interesting “instruments” – the actual voices that we each bring to a song. After all, the voice is really a complex instrument: we hope to create textures with our voices, to build layer upon layer in the music. Our voices are both our chords and our instruments and our interpretations create our uniqueness. With us, everything musical is on the table.
When it comes to songwriting, their music is often a reflection of what the three artists are going through, “our joys and sorrows, whether collectively or individually. We look at personal experiences, our hopes, our despairs, even our love songs. (“My husband is a theme to me,” she laughed.) We honor each other, keeping our friendships strong and vital, writing together and then connecting with our audience.
The Good Lovelies are thrilled to come to the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage. “We play like a roots trio, telling our stories in concert,” Kerri said. “We’re going to harmonize: maybe even invite a few to sing during the evening.” With a tour of Ontario in the works, a tour of the United States and a tour booked for Europe, Kerri observed, with a laugh, that hers, Caroline’s and Susan’s “are definitely training… finally “.
Opening for the Good Lovelies on Saturday night, Kerri describes a young artist as the creator of “beautiful songs, with a very interesting voice. We can’t wait to hear him play.
Scottish-born artist Evangeline Gentle observed that “I’ve been singing all my life. I think I could sing before I could speak. And I started playing professionally in cafes and bars at 14. I always knew that was what I wanted to do with my life: music is my calling.
She, too, is looking forward to getting back on stage after COVID. While she was able to record an album during the shutdowns, “it’s so good to be there: nothing compares to the energy of a live audience and sharing it.”
Boasting what Sandra Whitworth of SLAS calls a “beautiful voice” and a voice described as “soft and lush”, Evangeline calls her personal style “a bit contemporary, but maybe with a bit of pop and folk mixed in. I play piano and guitar, but my voice is my instrument I write about strength, about how people need to be connected to their emotions I write about love – friends, family, romantic – because I’m interested in human relationships.As I wrote in one of my songs, “the strongest people/have a soft heart”.
Another artist, guitarist Nick Ferrio, will join Evangeline on stage. “We’ve been together since 2018, and we’ll be singing and playing guitar for this show.” She is happy to open for the Good Lovelies. “Caroline has been very supportive of my music.” Evangeline is also looking forward to the upcoming release of a new version and to getting back on the road performing at several festivals. “But I’ve been waiting for this Morrisburg show for two years.”
Don’t miss Good Lovelies with Evangeline Gentle on Saturday, May 7 at the Upper Canada Playhouse.