WHO: Nancy Dutra w/special guests and opening set by Les Cooper
WHAT: Debut CD release of Time Will Tell
WHERE: Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. West, Toronto / (416) 531-6604
WHEN: Wednesday, October 10 @ 8:30pm
TICKETS: $16 adv./ $18 door
Dynamic, beautiful and extremely talented singer-songwriter Nancy Dutra will release her debut album TIME WILL TELL at Hugh’s Room on October 10 at 8:30 pm. A highly compelling songwriter and storyteller, Dutra’s long-awaited collection of her finest could well be the ticket to a star with her name on it. Special guests join Nancy for this concert, with an opening set by composer/producer Les Cooper. For more information please visit www.nancydutra.com .
What a great thing to be able to write a song that is touching and timeless. Singer-songwriter Nancy Dutra can do just that in such a unique and understated way that it’ll make you weep before you know it. Embraced whole-heartedly by the Toronto roots and country music community, Dutra is blessed with soft, gentle vocals and writes sweet and salty lyrics that’ll tug at your heartstrings and touch your soul.
Somewhat of a late bloomer, Nancy only began her musical career at the age of 24 after she quit her well-paid office job for the life of a musician. Conquering her lack of confidence as a singer, no guitar chops and a fear of performing in public, she had only three songs under her belt but people were clearly drawn to the simplicity of her music, to her poignant country songs of quiet dignity and uncommon grace. With the likes of guitar virtuoso Wendell Ferguson accompanying her, she quickly rose the ranks and began opening for the big guns like Ian Tyson, David Lindley and Jesse Winchester at choice venues. She’s since played the Mariposa Folk Festival; toured Eastern Canada; performed in Austin, Texas; and co-written songs with Canadian fave Ron Sexsmith and highly respected American songwriter Kevin Welch, (who are also both guests on the album).
In heartbreaking pieces like “I Cry” and “Weak, Weary and Worn,” Dutra has equalled the work of some of her strongest influences, like Iris DeMent, Lynn Miles and Lucinda Williams, but it is from the music she heard growing up, such as the traditional old-school stalwarts like Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, and comparable current-day songwriters like Guy Clark and Lyle Lovett that have inspired her genuine country approach.
Then again, Dutra’s passionate style, the spare, lean strength of her concise songs derives partly from her Portuguese heritage. The stripped-down, folk-blues feel of fado music that her parents played for her, especially the saudade – the emotional peak of the song where the singer fully, truly reveals herself – had always appealed to her. Although Dutra isn’t as showy or dramatic as a fado singer in the performance of her songs, she dares to be no less emotionally vulnerable, soulful and authentic, both in the “voice” of her content, and in her actual physical voice. The lyrics don’t typically express joy, but there’s a sense of redemption that arises from her close look at the challenges and difficulties of the human condition. Coming from a highly spiritual bent, she goes deep, and real, and it’s powerful stuff.
Now, in keeping with her decision to make music for a living, Dutra has recorded the 11 tracks, produced by Les Cooper (Jill Barber, The Good Lovelies, Madison Violet), who also performs and arranged strings for the album and featuring ace rhythm section Adam Warner on drums and Steve Zsirai on bass (both of whom play with Jill Barber and Royal Wood), and stellar, in-demand session and live guitarist Chris Bennett. She has also managed to gain a solid backing with top Canadian and American artists including Ron Sexmith, Justin Rutledge, Suzie Vinnick and Kevin Welch on harmonies, Jason Wilber (harmonies, mandolin), Chris Luedecke (banjo) and more.