Do­ing the work

Suc­cess isn’t about the des­ti­na­tion, but rather the jour­ney

The Central Voice - - Front Page - Carolyn R. Par­sons Carolyn R. Par­sons is an au­thor who lives in Cen­tral New­found­land and Labrador. She can be reached at car­olyn­r­par­[email protected]

Christ­mas lights are twin­kling in the evening and the ra­dio is full of tunes of love, joy and peace. Here we are, nearly smack dab in the mid­dle of De­cem­ber and I’m get­ting into the Christ­mas spirit and my pre­oc­cu­pa­tion is with gifts, or­der­ing, send­ing, re­ceiv­ing them, all com­pli­cated by the re­cent labour dis­pute at Canada Post. As of this mo­ment though, I think I’ve done all I can so, suc­cess!

My favourite gift is the op­por­tu­nity for good con­ver­sa­tion, and re­cently I had the plea­sure of sit­ting in the stu­dio with singer-song­writer Nick Earle of the highly suc­cess­ful folk/blues duo Earle and Cof­fin, who, to­gether, have racked up an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of nom­i­na­tions from Mu­sicNL and just won Young Artists of the Year at The Cana­dian Folk Mu­sic Awards

“To be rec­og­nized for what we do is an honour,” Earle says, and adds that their re­cent Cana­dian Folk award is es­pe­cially grat­i­fy­ing since they weren’t sure they’d be ac­cepted as Folk artists.

He notes they’ve won the award twice be­cause they’re still so young. That’s right. Earle is still just 19.

An ac­ci­den­tal blues singer, Earle found a record with an in­ter­est­ing cover at Costco when he as nine. It was a Ste­vie Ray Vaughn al­bum, an artist he con­sid­ers his main in­spi­ra­tion. He chose blues be­cause he loved it and be­cause, “de­spite what peo­ple think, blues is not sad, but rather a vent­ing process. You vent out your sor­rows.”

Most peo­ple would ride the wave of the band’s suc­cess for a while, but per­haps youth is a bonus given the ease with which Earle slipped into do­ing a solo project and that’s what we were there to chat about.

“I found I could ex­press my­self in more than just blues mu­sic,” he said.

Earle de­scribes his solo sound as “some­where be­tween folk rock, mushy folk.”

“It’s in­ter­est­ing to not have to fil­ter your ideas through any­one else so all that you cre­ate is your own,” he said, adding that while this is a good thing, it can cut the other way as well, when there is less op­por­tu­nity for feed­back.

The ten­ta­tive ti­tle of the al­bum is “Lovers turned Strangers”. Most songs have catchy hooks and a few to sing along to.

Earle is en­joy­ing the process. “It’s like build­ing a house, first you lay down the foun­da­tion, and go from there,” he says of their ca­reer to date and this new foray into the un­known.

Earle got me think­ing about the con­cept of suc­cess, hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced it at such an early stage in his ca­reer. When I look at oth­ers, I of­ten con­sider them suc­cess­ful while think­ing that in my own life, there is so much more work to be done be­fore I can make that claim.

The tran­scen­den­tal­ist Henry David Thoreau said, “Suc­cess usu­ally comes to those who are too busy to be look­ing for it.” And of course, hard work is a part of the equa­tion. But per­haps it’s be­yond that. Maybe it’s not some dis­tant goal we work to­wards when we achieve a point at which we say, “we’ve reached it.” Maybe it’s a jour­ney, made up of tiny ac­com­plish­ments and over­com­ing fail­ures and that we can claim in many times over a life­time.

Suc­cess is not a place you ar­rive at but rather, if you’re try­ing, if you’re out there do­ing the work, if you’re “in the arena,” as Brene Brown says, then you’re al­ready suc­cess­ful.

A full in­ter­view with Nick Earle will air on the Bridges Ra­dio pro­gram avail­able on pod­casts on all ma­jor plat­forms and at https://­ra­dios-show

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