We have been fans of David Myles for a long time now, and naturally become very excited when we see him announce tour dates in and around PA.  Earlier this summer David was part of a show in State College, PA – just two hours away from our home – but the date clashed with a festival to which we were already committed over that same weekend.  Missed opportunity #1.  Shortly afterwards, David announced a date in Lancaster, PA – just ninety minutes away this time – but the date coincided with the Trent Severn concert in Burlington for which we had purchased tickets.  Missed opportunity #2. Riding this good run of bad luck, we knew that a break would come our way soon, and when we saw that David would be performing in southern Ontario on the evening following our most recent excursion to the province, tickets were finally secured for a date with this wonderful singer/songwriter.

Arriving at The Sanctuary in the small town of Ridgeway, ON, we were immediately impressed with this former church-come-music hall AND brewery.  Enjoying a local pint of English Ale prior to the show, we made our way into the music hall once the doors were opened and found some great seats up front.  Team GDW have grown fond of these smaller community venues over the years, with their great atmosphere and appreciative crowds, and The Sanctuary proved to be no exception.  An added bonus for this evening was knowing that Spencer Burton would be opening the show.  We recently heard music from this artist on CBC Radio, and promptly picked up a copy of his 2017 “Songs Of” album.

Making his way onto the stage in his signature blue denim, Spencer immediately endeared himself to the audience with his casual demeanor and laid back style.  Combining the tale of being confused for a local (he hails from Ridgeville, ON – and not Ridgeway, ON – “the farm where you can buy eggs, yeah, that’s my place”) with his natural charismatic personality made it very easy to believe that Spencer Burton was more like an old friend as opposed to ‘the opening act.’  With a brief rendition of “Old Grey Stone” to open the show (and tune), Burton would go on to perform an enjoyable seven track set of original music.  Tracks drawn from the new album would include both “Unmistakable Love” and “Dear Danny,” as well as “Cry Little Darling,” which he would dedicate to his stepdaughter.  Surrounding this number with a story of attempting to seek her approval of his ‘costume choice’ prior to leaving for a show, Burton had the audience fully engaged with her completely unexpected (and comedic) responses.  A few older tracks would be included, before “Pencil” (you had to be there) wrapped up his set with the popular radio hit “End Of The Summer.”

After a brief intermission, David Myles would take center stage, flanked by his regular travelling companions Alan Jeffries (guitar) and Kyle Cunjak (upright bass).  Dressed in his signature ‘business suit,’ David would rock the new outfit as found on the cover to his brand new “Real Love” album.  With the tale behind the business attire, David would point out his bolo tie, announcing that he was pushing the boundaries and living on the edge this night.  Two simple banners would sit behind the artists adorned with the words ‘Real’ and ‘Love’ – to which David acknowledged that they had gone all-out with the promotional material for this tour.  The audience warmed to his charms immediately, and the trio went on to provide a solid performance that spanned twenty tracks plus an additional encore tune.  New material was to be expected, and appreciated, along with many of his signature tunes from across his back catalog.

For anybody who has yet to hear the latest “Real Love” album, be prepared (once again) to find David embracing another experimental musical style.  Not one to isolate his musical creativity within the confines of one particular box, David has previously demonstrated his talents within the sounds of jazz, doo wop, country, hip-hop and Latin genres.  With this latest offering, David Myles has turned to the sounds of yesteryear, embracing “retro rock ‘n’ roll, lightning-in-a-bottle country twang, and soulful balladry.”  “Real Love” is a collection of thirteen tracks that see David’s original compositions sharing many common elements with the likes of The Everly Brothers, Don Gibson, and Roy Orbison, yet are delivered with a true sense of originality and prove to be a natural fit for the musical style of this artist.  Several cuts would be performed live at The Sanctuary, including the smooth vibes of “If You Want Tonight,” the three part harmonies of “Dreaming,” and that ‘country twang’ number, “Look At Me.”  Adding a little rockabilly with “Night And Day,” and the Orbison inspired “Cry, Cry, Cry,” each and every new track was integrated into the set list with ease.

Long-time fans would be satisfied with a great mix of previous hits throughout the night.  Leading off with both “Need A Break” and “Tell Me What,” David, Alan, and Kyle established their tone immediately and did not ease off all night.  Material was performed for fans of all musical tastes, from doo wop (“Change My Mind”) to bluegrass (“It Don’t Matter”) and old country (“Sweet Dreams Of You”).  David would round out his set with some of his most popular hits, notably “Maureen,” “Turn Time Off” and the closing number “When It Comes My Turn.”  Exiting the stage to a standing ovation from the packed out hall, the trio would return for a fantastic encore performance of “I Will Love You.”  And after these twenty-one flawlessly performed tracks, David Myles bid his appreciative audience a very fond farewell.

For Team GDW, we may have missed out on the two earlier opportunities to see David perform in our own neck of the woods, but left The Sanctuary with an unforgettable experience from this night of wonderful music.  All three artists once again demonstrated their skills all evening, their amazing three-part harmonies, their lighthearted humor, and above all, their natural ability to leave you wanting much, much more from them next time around.  We eagerly await the next opportunity to catch up with David Myles, and expect many bumps in the road (as far as timing and ‘other’ shows) along the way, but rest assured that this is not the last time we shall be enjoying the music of these gentlemen live in concert.

David Myles Set List:

  1. Need A Break
  2. Tell Me What
  3. Simple Pleasures
  4. ***Unknown Track***
  5. Drive Right Through
  6. Change My Mind
  7. If You Want Tonight
  8. Cry, Cry, Cry
  9. Look At Me
  10. So Blind
  11. Dreaming
  12. New Friend
  13. I Wouldn’t Dance
  14. Sweet Dreams Of You
  15. It Don’t Matter
  16. Maureen
  17. Night After Night
  18. Turn Time Off
  19. Night And Day
  20. When It Comes My Turn

Encore:

  1. I Will Love You

~ M

Visit Spencer Burton’s website.

Listen to “Songs of” on Spotify.

Visit David Myles’ website.

Listen to “So Far” on Spotify. (Note for American readers: “Real Love” will be available in the US in January.)