Top News

Dave Whitty debuts new album

Dave Whitty in performance.
Dave Whitty in performance. - Submitted

“It’s pop-y. … It’s folk-y … and buddy can sing!”

This was how Punters member Larry Foley introduced local singer/songwriter Dave Whitty to a sold-out crowd at the LSPU Hall on Sunday.

Foley recalled the first time he heard Whitty’sa music, as he was wandering down George Street.

He was impressed, because he “usually hates everything,” Foley joked.

You really can’t hate Dave Whitty. His onstage charisma continues offstage, quick with a joke, a jab and a smile. Whitty has that kind of easy-going, friendly personality that makes you feel like you’ve known him your whole life.

His many fans would surely say the same, as they piled into the Hall to support the release of their friend’s third album, “Talkin’ Back Fool.”

The June 10 performance at the LSPU Hall kicked off Whitty’s Eastern Canada tour with bassist Peter Green and drummer Jason Howard.

Though he will tour as a three-piece act, Whitty piled a slew of local names onto the home show bill, the band expanding and contracting throughout the night, with up to 11 musicians onstage.

The set began with the album’s title track, “Talkin’ Back Fool,” about “keeping your mouth shut instead of talking,” Whitty joked. It was followed by “Bummin’ Around,” another new tune.

A reviewer’s dream, Whitty introduced each song by title, delivering a short anecdote about the song’s origin and inspiration.

While I was happy to have my homework completed for me, the audience enjoyed the backstory, and the intimate feeling created by Whitty’s openness to share his creative process.

As he jumped around his three-album discography, it was interesting to hear how Whitty’s music can fit into so many subgenres of folk, rock and pop.

As a three piece, with added electric guitar from Curtis Peckham and Jordan Thorne, and keyboards from Weight of the World’s Terri Lynn Humber, the songs could easily climb into the rock/pop charts.

On other tunes, with Valerie Hewson on violin, and Rum Ragged’s Aaron Collis, Mark Manning, Anthony Chafe and Michael Boone adding mandolin, banjo, accordion and vocals, the music became a perfect fit for any local Irish/traditional radio show.

Whitty pulled heartstrings with “Twenty-Three Hearts,” a song written about a good day spent with a sick friend who later died. My heart swelled like it did the day Whitty introduced me to his weiner dog, Lizzy.

After that tender moment, the crowd was soon laughing as Whitty explained an older song, “Idaho” — “I’ve never been there and have no plans to go there,” he said, before launching into a song about running away to the foreign state.

Though some of Whitty’s lyrical content is about leaving home, most songs are focused on his beloved home province, and the joys of coming home to his friends and family.

This was especially evident during “St. John’s,” a love song to his hometown, fit for a tourism commercial.

Powering through about 20 songs, the band finished off as an 11-piece act, performing “Lizzy,” one of Whitty’s biggest hits.

In case you’re wondering — like I was — the wiener dog got its name from the song, not the other way around.

Recent Stories