Debra Cowan, Traditional/Folk, Loreto Home Concert, Thursday, October 22 at 7:30 pm, $20

Specializing primarily in traditional songs, often maritime-themed, Debra Cowan tours regularly in the United Kingdom and the United States.debra cowan

She was once asked what kind of songs she writes. Her reply? “Bad ones. Besides, there are so many good songs out there written by others and they should be sung.”

Her captivating warm alto carries each Folk song she chooses with such emotion that you’ll forget that they were written by others. She performs both acappella and with guitar in the great tradition of Folk singers like Joan Baez and Judy Collins, with a clear vocal that calls forth the ghosts of long past but can also offer a more modern urban landscape.

In her newest release, a live recording entitled “Among Friends”, she demonstrates her ability to interact with her audience and have them enthusiastically sing along on choruses and refrains.

As a young girl she idolized Julie Andrews and in her teens discovered Jethro Tull and Steeleye Span. At the age of 21 she needed escape out of a small Midwestern town so she threw darts at a map and ended up in northern California where she attended college, sang in bars, and eventually worked as a middle school Math teacher.

She continued her discovery of Folk with English singers like Maddy Prior and Scottish singers like Ray Fisher. Debra started performing in California 35 years ago and began touring in 1998, with frequent stops in the US and UK, from Folk clubs to festivals like the Old Songs Festival and Broadstairs Folk Week in England.

That led her to where she is now, a full-time singer who bridges the old and new with a refreshing stage presence — she may start with a moving ballad like “The Rainbow,” a profile of one woman’s courage, and segue into “Johnny Be Fair,” about a poor lass who can’t marry anyone in town because, well, she’s related to everyone.

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This home concert is put together by Home Routes out of Winnipeg. Georgetown’s Frank and Ruth Loreto have been hosting Home Routes concerts ( at 3 Torino Gate) for 5 plus years and have yet to be disappointed by any of the shows.

The cost for the evening is $20 per person, with the full amount going to the performers. They need to know in advance who is coming as they can only hold 25 people comfortably and they must know how many break-time delights to prepare in advance. Now is not too soon to book this or other upcoming shows in the Loreto Home Routes Concert Series. To reserve a spot, contact Frank at: loreto@sympatico.ca.

Bring whatever you would like to drink or you can indulge in the delicious coffees provided by Stephen at Speakeasy’s in Hamiton. AND, you can have that coffee delivered to your door like they do—just go to http://speakeasycoffee.vstore.ca

For a wealth of info on other Live Music events throughout Canada (as re-posted by Frank Loreto) connect on Facebook at earstotheground.ca and on Twitter @ears2dground.

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