Since the formation of GDW, I have lost count of how many times people have tried to convince me that there is no good music out there. “They don’t make records like they used to!” Ever heard that one? Yes, me too! Too often, and my answer never falters. There is truly an abundance of great new music out there, just itching to be discovered. But don’t be lazy and trust those monolithic commercial radio stations or corporate-owned outlets to be your guide. Sometimes, you just have to think outside the box and go looking in the right places, where a little bit of effort can only reap huge rewards. Finding a way to connect talented independent artists with new audiences has always been, and shall always remain, one of our core principles here at GDW.
We are incredibly honored when a relatively new or rising singer-songwriter stumbles across this dedicated online music journal of ours, taking that first step to introduce themselves and tell us a little about their music. Connections that have not only brought us new music – GREAT new music, even, but have also fostered new friendships in the process. It was around last autumn when we received a beautiful introductory email from Guelph, ON, singer-songwriter Doris Folkens, who had just released her debut self-titled EP. Falling in love with her music immediately, this was one that we absolutely had to share. Scanning our checklist prior to publishing our review, the ‘Core Principle’ was automatically checked; the ‘Great New Music’ box was not only checked, but highlighted and circled in triplicate.
Having kept in touch with Doris since last November, we were delighted to learn of a musical bond that she has with her good friend, Maggie May Davis. A friendship that recently brought both artists together in Guelph to reconnect and spend some time together. “I met Maggie while living in the small mountain town of Revelstoke, BC,” Doris explains. “We were both involved in the local folk music community, [given] our love of folk music, singing and songwriting, and both [grew up] in south central Ontario.” Fate may have played a hand in bringing both artists together, but it would be a collectively natural decision to start singing together. “We have opposite voices and very different styles,” Doris adds. “Maggie is more bluesy and strong, and gritty, while I’m more clear and soft, but the opposites seem to blend into an intriguing mix.”
While Maggie has settled permanently out west, Doris eventually returned home to Ontario, accompanied by this everlasting friendship and strong desire from both to find the occasional opportunity to visit together, and naturally, to sing together. “Maggie’s long overdue debut album, titled ‘Denim Blues,’ is set for release later this month,” Doris shares. “This August, when she was visiting her family near Guelph, we took the opportunity to perform a few gigs together and sing some of our old favourite folk tunes.”
Although reunited in the same postal code for a brief moment, the physical timing of the visit worked out perfectly for both artists. “[Videographer] Mitch Fillion from Southern Souls was available to shoot a couple of live videos for us,” explains Doris. “We chose two original songs; “Take It Slow” from Maggie’s upcoming album, and “Dig a Hole” from my EP, which we’ve sung together before.” Recorded in the familiar surroundings of her own living room, Doris attributes the intimacy of these performances, and capturing of their strong sense of kinship on film, to the remarkable vision and direction from Mitch. “We had minimal instrumentation, focusing mostly on our voices, and singing with a lot of heart,” Doris recalls. “It’s hard not to smile when I’m enjoying every moment of singing with my best friend.”
Visit Southern Souls’ website.
Visit Doris Folkens’ website.
Visit Maggie May Davis’ website.