David Newberry Gets Wordy

By Christine Séguin — Mon, 23/11/2015 - 13:52

I am a lover of words.  Like a painters palette of colours.  Words can be crafted together to blow explore an idea, create rich images, dense stories and complicated characters.  They can then be transformed even further when set to music, thus creating an extra level of texture which Toronto-based artist David Newberry has mastered throughout his musical career.

I spoke with David as he drove to Peterborough for his next show at The Garnet.  After assuring me that he was indeed using a hands free device, we were able to talk about his music and his upcoming performance on November 26th at the wonderfully intimate Kaffé 1870.  

I asked David what he most enjoys about being on tour. “The great thing about being a touring musician in Canada is that there are tonnes of us everywhere so usually the thing that makes me feel most comfortable is catching up with friends mine from the road so professionals that either live in the town or might be passing through the other direction.  There are not that many people who are crazy enough to do this job in this country so we end up knowing most of them.  It's probably the tightest and more disparate communities that I’ve ever encountered.”

Newberry’s September 11th release Replacement Things is more personal than his previous offerings, though his approach to writing has not changed.  “It could be excruciating.  It is a very slow process.  I am not really a perfectionist when it comes to recording but I kind of need things to be perfect before I even start.”   Newberry’s music is rich with imagery and characters.  It is clear he has a passion for words and stories.  “What I try to do is get them to tell a story and describe the things that are happening around the story.”  Though it is clear David does put a lot of work into crafting lyrics, his output seems breezy and effortless.  “My goal is to let people feel something or think about something.  If i am doing that then I am happy.”

Newberry’s gears did not only shift thematically throughout the years, he has also begun approaching his music differently, going from an acoustic folk-based sound to one that utilizes more electric instruments and synths.  This change has however not shifted Newberry’s thoughts on his songwriting.  “My music is very songs forward.  What I love about music is songs and the way those songs are presented. I don’t care about the genre.  If you’ve written a fantastic song and you’ve spent half a million dollars to produce it to make it perfect and glossy or if you’ve written a great song and you play it in front of a mic in your kitchen I would probably like it just as much.”

We hope you will take the chance to hear some of his great songs at Kaffé 1870 on Thursday, November 26th. 

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