Car­men chameleon: With her solo shows and two bands, busy rocker Car­men Townsend proves good things come in threes

Open­ing blues­man Gar­rett Ma­son at Savoy The­atre on Fri­day

Cape Breton Post - - Arts focus - BY LAURA JEAN GRANT lj­grant@cb­

SYD­NEY — Car­men Townsend is never very far from the stage th­ese days.

The Cape Bre­ton rocker has been pulling triple-duty in mu­sic cir­cles in the last cou­ple of years and is show­ing no signs of slow­ing down.

“ I’m just play­ing a lot of shows,” she said. “I’m do­ing a lot more acous­tic stuff now, I’m still with my rock band and I’m still with Tom Fun (Or­ches­tra) but I’ve been go­ing out on the road a lot with Mike LeLievre, from S low-coaster, who’s an old friend of mine, and it’s been re­ally, re­ally ex­cel­lent, a nice change com­pared to the rock cir­cus that we are a part of all the time.”

This week she’ll be switch­ing gears yet again, open­ing for Juno-winning blues­man, Gar­rett Ma­son, in a Savoy The­atre stu­dio

My joke is that I’ve added a 13th month to the cal­en­dar and it’s called soon.

Car­men Townsend

space per­for­mance Fri­day at 8 p.m. The Townsend/Ma­son show comes as re­sult of a new weekly se­ries at The Paragon The­atre in Hal­i­fax, that brings dif­fer­ent artists to­gether to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for co-writ­ing and tour­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions.

“He is hands-down the best gui­tar player I’ve ever seen,” said Townsend of Ma­son. “He’s un­be­liev­able. I don’t un­der­stand how this guy isn’t a bazil­lion­aire.”

With solo shows and two bands — The Tom Fun Or­ches­tra and her own band with Thomas Allen and Shane O’Han­d­ley — Townsend ad­mits keep­ing her cal­en­dar in or­der can be a chal­lenge.

“ There’s a few shows with Tom Fun that I have to miss be­cause I have to fo­cus on my ca­reer but it’s go­ing pretty well. It’s not too crazy yet but even­tu­ally Thomas and Shane, my drum­mer and my bass player, we are go­ing to have to leave Tom Fun, which will be a bum­mer but I think we’ll al­ways be wel­comed on­stage in the fu­ture,” she said.

Townsend said play­ing with her own band, as well as with The Tom Fun Or­ches­tra, has re­ally been a win-win sit­u­a­tion.

“ When we toured across Canada, we were able to open the Tom Fun show so we were do­ing dou­ble-duty but that was a great ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause peo­ple in Vic­to­ria (B.C) know who we are and they’re looking for­ward to us com­ing back,” she said.

She, O’Han­d­ley, and Allen com­pleted a record­ing over a year ago, and af­ter get­ting ev­ery­thing in or­der, are set to release an EP in the next few months.

“ We just re­cently signed a deal with EMI and they’re go­ing to help us release a six-song EP, so that’s to­tally awe­some. We’re in a re­ally good spot,” she said. “Hope­fully it’s go­ing to just snow­ball into suc­cess and take us as far as we can go.”

So just when should fans ex­pect to see the release?

“My joke is that I’ve added a 13th month to the cal­en­dar and it’s called soon,” she said with a laugh.

In the com­ing months, Townsend has a few more acous­tic solo shows sched­uled, will be busy at the East Coast Mu­sic Awards from March 4-7 in Syd­ney, and will con­tinue jug­gling two bands for now — a busy sched­ule but one she wouldn’t change for any­thing.

“ The peo­ple that mu­sic has brought into my life, it’s pretty amaz­ing. I meet peo­ple all the time and they’re just re­ally sup­port­ive and en­cour­ag­ing. I’ve been do­ing this since I was 14 and it’s a slow and steady pace to the top, I guess, but I never re­ally gave up,” she said. “I know I was born to do this and I know that my band was born to do this and the peo­ple that sur­round me are just to­tally tal­ented and won­der­ful, so I think I’m mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

Tick­ets to see Townsend and Ma­son are $15 and can be pur­chased through the Savoy box of­fice at 842-1577 or in ad­vance through their web­site, www.savoythe­

Sub­mit­ted by Car­men Townsend

Car­men Townsend, and her band­mates, Thomas Allen, left, and Shane O’Han­d­ley, right, are pre­par­ing to release an EP later this year. Car­men will also be play­ing a solo show Fri­day with Gar­rett Ma­son at the Savoy The­atre.

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