A night of mu­sic, laughs

Mem­bers of Lunch At Allen’s stop by for a Dec. 16 show at the Fraser Au­di­to­rium in Sud­bury

The Sudbury Star - - ENTERTAINMENT - PAUL MORDEN POST­MEDIA NET­WORK sud.edi­to­[email protected]­media.ca

There was a time when Marc Jor­dan, the writer of Ma­rina Del Ray, Rhythm Of My Heart and many other songs, didn’t en­joy per­form­ing on stage.

To­day, it’s dif­fer­ent for the mu­sic vet­eran, who re­turns with his friends in Lunch At Allen’s for a Dec. 16 show at the Fraser Au­di­to­rium in Sud­bury.

It’s part launch of a 10-city tour by the four­some of Jor­dan, Mur­ray McLaugh­lin, Ian Thomas and Cindy Church. Over his long ca­reer, Jor­dan has been a solo record­ing artist, as well as a song­writer for a long list of oth­ers that in­cludes Rod Ste­wart, Bon­nie Raitt, Cher, Olivia New­ton-John and Shawn Colvin.

But when he was start­ing out, “it was all about me, and I never ac­tu­ally en­joyed play­ing,” Jor­dan said.

It wasn’t un­til he was older that he real­ized per­form­ing was about the au­di­ence and not about him­self.

“And then, I started to love play­ing, as soon as I got out of my own way,” Jor­dan said. “Mu­sic is that thing that is a part of peo­ple’s lives, at a cer­tain point, and in their lives.”

When a song­writer can tap into that con­nec­tion with lis­ten­ers, it’s a “fan­tas­tic life,” Jor­dan said.

More than a dozen years and five al­bums af­ter its first show, Lunch At Allen’s is still go­ing strong.

“It’s just one of those cool things where it just grows or­gan­i­cally,” Jor­dan said.

The group was born when McLaugh­lin was asked to do a song­writer’s cir­cle. He said he would, but only if he could pick the song­writ­ers and they could play like a band in­stead each just tak­ing turns per­form­ing while the oth­ers lis­tened.

He pitched the idea to Thomas and Jor­dan dur­ing a lunch at Allen’s Restau­rant in Toronto, and Church, a singer-song­writer and mem­ber of the group Quar­tet, was asked to join in. Jor­dan said the four of them did that show, which was ex­pected to be just a one-off per­for­mance, and an agent came up af­ter and said he could book more shows.

They agreed and “it never stopped from there,” Jor­dan said.

He said the four mem­bers en­joy each other’s com­pany more and more as the years go by.

An­other plea­sure Lunch At Allen’s pro­vides is the chance to be a “side­man” on stage while play­ing on each other’s songs, Jor­dan said.

“It’s a real dif­fer­ent mind­set and headspace,” he said. “It’s quite lovely.”

The five al­bums re­leased by Lunch At Allen’s in­clude Zuzu’s Petals, a 2012 Christ­mas al­bum, and a few of its songs are likely to make the play list for the up­com­ing con­certs, Jor­dan said.

Jor­dan said he be­lieves the al­bum came about be­cause Lunch At Allen’s didn’t have orig­i­nal hol­i­day songs to per­form when it toured dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son.

“We thought, ‘Well, why don’t we write some?’”That’s what we do.”

PAUL MORDEN/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Lunch At Allen's, a quar­tet of singer-song­writ­ers, from left, Marc Jor­dan, Mur­ray McLaugh­lan, Ian Thomas and Cindy Church, is sched­uled to play in Sud­bury on Dec. 16.

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