Singer-songwriters will share their songwriting process at 4th Line Theatre

By: Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
MILLBROOK — In the tradition of “Writers in the Round,” four artists will  share the 4th Line Theatre stage during four musical evenings in September and  October, showcasing different artists each evening.
“The Barnyard Sessions: All About the Song,” produced by singer-songwriter  Kate Suhr, will feature Suhr and other area singer-songwriters such as Greg  Keelor (Blue Rodeo), Evangeline Gentle, Julian Taylor, Sean Conway, Ben Kunder,  Kelly McMichael, Melissa Payne, Jack Nicholsen, Dylan Ireland, Benj Rowland,  Eric Brandon and Lauryn MacFarlane with more names to be released over the  coming weeks.
In the intimate setting of Winslow Farm, they will take turns discussing  their original music and how they craft their songwriting, detailing the process  behind the lyrics, according to a press release.
“The four artists will get together, introduce a song, explain where the  inspiration came from, why they wrote this particular piece, and then they play  it, and then the next person goes, so it’s a really beautiful intimate  gathering. It’s a celebration of songwriting,” Suhr told The Examiner.
Suhr, who was responsible for finding the artists and developing the show,  said she had to think about who would be nicely paired with one another. She  also looked at balancing gender equality for each performance.
Every performance will be a mixed bag of genres, featuring rhythm and blues,  country, folk — in the true Americana songwriter style — and a little bit of  pop, as well, she said.
“I just kept thinking, they’re all such brilliant song writers and I’m a firm  believer in sharing all genres. It will be so beautiful for the audience to get  an eclectic feel, to feel the different styles of music and see artists that  maybe they haven’t seen perform before,” Suhr said.
“It makes them (the audience) feel like they’re a part of something. When an  album is released, we listen to a song, and we’re moved. We have our own  interpretation of what the writer could be talking about or what they were  trying to express. In this case, the audience will be able to hear first-hand  how a piece of music was created.”
The concerts will take place 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 30 with Sean Conway, Lauryn  MacFarlane, Kelly McMichael, Benj Rowland; Oct. 1 with Greg Keelor, Melissa  Payne, Julian Taylor, and one other still to be announced; Oct. 14 with Eric  Brandon, Evangeline Gentle, Dylan Ireland, JD Nicholsen; and Oct. 15 Aphrose and  Heather Crawford, Ben Kunder, Kate Suhr, and others to be announced.
Benj Rowland, who will perform Sept. 30, was born and raised in Millbrook and  is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist folk musician based in  Peterborough.
He has toured across Canada and Europe with his band, the Mayhemingways. His  first solo EP, “Community Garden,” produced by Joel Plaskett, is scheduled for  release this year.
Another performer, Kelly McMichael, is from Peterborough but is now based in  St John’s and will also perform Oct. 1. She’s known for her stage presence,  striking vocals and clever songwriting, says the press release.
She has toured Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. with various projects, most  recently keys and vocals with Sarah Harmer. Her debut LP, released in May,  incorporates psychedelia, synth-pop, americana and grunge.
Tickets for The Barnyard Sessions go on sale Tuesday and are available for  purchase through 4th Line Theatre’s box office. The capacity for each  performance is 50 seats.
This presentation will adhere to all provincial and local health unit COVID  mandates and guidelines for maximum audience numbers, physical distancing and  mask wearing.