Bobby Bazini (Folk Soul) | August 22nd | 8pm
For his first two albums, singer/songwriter Bobby Bazini wrote alone and dreamed up an earthy breed of guitar-driven soul that earned him multiple Juno Award nominations. However, on his third full-length and second for the US, the 27-year-old Quebec native decided to change up his approach and collaborate with esteemed songwriters such as country sensation Chris Stapleton. Along with joining in sessions in Nashville—a lifelong ambition for Bazini, who grew up on his grandmother’s Johnny Cash records—he traveled to L.A. and to London, where he quickly came up with the powerful opening track for Summer Is Gone. Fiercely intense but supremely joyful, “Blood’s Thicker Than Water” brilliantly blends smoldering grooves, blazing guitar work, and gospel-esque harmonies. “As soon as that song came together I said, ‘This is how I want the album to sound,’” Bazini recalls. “It’s got sort of a reckless attitude and a bluesy sound, but at the same time it feels so new.”
Raised in the rural town of Mont-Laurier, Bazini began playing guitar as a kid, thanks partly to impromptu lessons from his dad. At age 12, soon after his parents divorced, he went to live with his grandmother and quickly immersed himself in her country-heavy record collection. “I was really inspired by Johnny Cash and started discovering more and more music, like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and all those Stax and Motown records,” he remembers. Like most people in his hometown, Bazini grew up with French as his first language, but took it upon himself to learn English. “All my favorite artists sang in English and I wanted to follow in their footsteps, so I figured out how to speak the language by watching TV and listening to records,” he says. By age 16, he’d started writing songs of his own, crafting all of his lyrics in English, and within a year made his onstage debut with a performance at a school variety show.