Ser­ena Ry­der in Sher­brooke this Thurs­day

Sherbrooke Record - - LOCAL NEWS - By Gor­don Lam­bie

Cana­dian singer/song­writer Ser­ena Ry­der is com­ing to town this com­ing Thurs­day to play a show at Sher­brooke’s Granada Theatre.

“I’m go­ing to be do­ing a kind of ret­ro­spec­tive show,” Ry­der said, ex­plain­ing that since she has not done much tour­ing in Que­bec out­side of Mon­treal, she wants to try to ex­pose lo­cal au­di­ences to as much of her best work as pos­si­ble. “It’s go­ing to be three or four songs from each record just to give ev­ery­one a sense of what I’ve done be­fore.”

Ry­der has been play­ing work from her most re­cent al­bum, Utopia, across Canada since the sum­mer, but told The Record that she likes to vary her per­for­mance from one venue to the next, chang­ing the lineup of songs and the for­mat of per­for­mance de­pend­ing on what kind of a space she is in.

“As a per­son who likes to go and see con­certs my­self, I think hav­ing a fa­mil­iar­ity for a show is really im­por­tant,” she said, adding that she tries to play a bal­ance of her favourites and the songs that her au­di­ence may be fa­mil­iar with. Be­cause Que­bec Au­di­ences are, for the most part, less likely to be fa­mil­iar with her work, she de­cided that the gen­eral re­view was a good ap­proach.

The mul­ti­ple Juno award win­ning mu­si­cian said that she has been in the process of try­ing to get to know Que­bec bet­ter in re­cent years, tak­ing steps like re­leas­ing full French trans­la­tions of hit songs like “Stompa” and “What I wouldn’t do.”

“It ends up be­ing a dif­fer­ent song,” Ry­der said, re­flect­ing on hav­ing a song rewrit­ten in an­other lan­guage. “You can’t ever really di­rectly trans­late a song, so for me it ends up be­ing ex­cit­ing; it gives a new life to that song.”

Ry­der was also a re­cent guest on La Voix, the Que­bec ver­sion of the pop­u­lar singing com­pe­ti­tion The Voice.

Sher­brooke marks Ry­der’s last stop of the cur­rent tour sched­ule be­fore she gets started on a smaller tour de­voted to her new al­bum of Christ­mas mu­sic.

“For the most part, I can’t stand mod­ern Christ­mas mu­sic. It drives me crazy,” she said. “The stuff that really gets my heart all tickly is the old stuff like frank Si­na­tra, Nat king Cole, and Bing Crosby; the old Ella Fitzger­ald kind of stuff.”

The singer shared that she has never been a per­son with a huge pas­sion for the Hol­i­day sea­son, and said that the way the al­bum came about was some­thing of a sur­prise.

“I was ap­proached by Bob Ezrin, and I was in­stantly freaked out and ex­cited in the best way,” Ry­der said, point­ing out that Ezrin is a Cana­dian mu­sic pro­ducer who has worked with the likes of Pink Floyd, Pe­ter Gabriel, and Lou reed among many oth­ers. “Then I was like okay, for some­one who has never been a Christ­mas per­son, what am I go­ing to do here?”

Re­flect­ing on the is­sue, Ry­der found her an­swer in those child­hood favourites and the long­time dream of mak­ing an al­bum in that clas­sic jazz style.

“In the process of mak­ing this al­bum, I feel like I found the Christ­mas spirit for the first time in my life,” she said, laugh­ing “as a 35 year old adult, sud­denly I feel like oh, this is what it is all about.”

The al­bum, “Christ­mas Kisses,” was re­leased in mid-oc­to­ber and Ry­der said that she will be tour­ing the mu­sic in ap­pro­pri­ately fes­tive con­texts late in 2018.

“We’re go­ing to start an east coast Christ­mas run,” she said, not­ing that in ad­di­tion to stops in New Brunswick, Nova Sco­tia, and PEI, she will also be par­tic­i­pat­ing in Toronto’s an­nual Santa Claus Pa­rade.


Ry­der has been play­ing work from her most re­cent al­bum, Utopia, across Canada since the sum­mer, but told The Record that she likes to vary her per­for­mance from one venue to the next

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