Hi, folks. My name is Kev Corbett, and I’m a Musician.
I applied for the Music NS Musician of the Year award because it’s where I most rightfully belong, and because I care a lot more about the craft of being a utility man, than I necessarily care about the social phenomenon of being a solo artist. Solo guy whatever, player always.
So, my musical life has 3 equal parts: artist, sideguy, drum teacher.
This year, I completed a tour I’d been on for 2 years, that took me across the country and back about 3 times; self-booked, self-financed, self-executed, and a raging success. The tour was just about wrapped up when we unfortunately found a cadaver floating in a river in Thunder Bay and I was gonna be a little late for rehearsal that night. Still rehearsed, tho, subsequently played 5 gigs in Tbay, 3 in TO, came home to Hali and sidebassed with Dave Celia at the Carleton that night.
Tour highlight: being invited by Stephen Fearing to open for him at Hugh’s Room (as well as 4 other places), and being occasionally complimented by other artists I really look up to. It just tells you you’re doing the right stuff.
Other nice things people said:
“…a beautiful snapshot of the Canadian landscape. This native Nova Scotian’s voice is like no one else… all Canadian, hints of Cockburn, Cohen and Lightfoot… well-crafted and skillfully written songs… dazzling guitar playing… Corbett is a true folksinger and Son of a Rudderless Boat is a marvelous listen.” -Penguin Eggs Magazine
“Corbett embodies everything that is wonderful about the song as an art form, while most folk singers today are mere shadows of great singer/songwriters.” -Jeff Liberty, writing in KV Style before a gig at the Vintage in Hampton NB
“The man is an exceptional guitar player – for one thing – but also writes extremely clever, finessed, clockwork folk-pop songs whose singable surface belies a tremendous underlying sense of craft. It was really great to see him again.” – Jowi Taylor, Six String Nation, after a gig in TO
“That’s a mighty fine CD you (and your friends) have cobbled together. Beauty. Great songs, vivid and evocative rapid fire storylines, sweet and raggedy sounds, and terrific arrangements. Thanks for that.” – Lewis Melville (producer/musician: Rheostatics, Skydiggers, Cowboy Junkies, Woodchoppers Association. and the next Kev Corbett record)
This year, I joined a band with Don Ross and Brooke Miller, and had the entire setlist transcribed onto staff paper and memorized before the first rehearsal. I built an electric fretless bass in order to execute the artist’s sonic vision of the material as presented on the album versions. We rehearsed every day for 2 weeks. I was subsequently involved in their album sessions, both as bassist and drummer. They are two of the most uncompromising musicians I know, and it is part of my wiring as a journeyman player to make them feel like their songs will be safe in my hands, that I will bend over backwards for what they need. You can hear samples at Brooke’s FB fan page.
I’ve also just recorded Steven Bowers’ new record, on which I played upright bass, electric bass, mandolin, and my first two ever banjo tracks. Here’s a sample from that, you can hear all three instruments at once, last chorus at 3:00: http://soundcloud.com/steven-bowers/steven-bowers-song-for-grown
Also, Norma MacDonald’s record just came out, and Irish Mythen’s. I’m on both of those (voice/percs and bass/drums, respectively).
So, that’s four records this year, multiple parts on each.
I’ve played Liverpool NS to just outside of Whitehorse and back to Kempt Shore NS with Charlie A’Court in the past two months. I played Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and London with Gillian Boucher. I got blown up for a Brooke Miller video in PEI, and I turned down a gig playing drums with Carole Pope to do it.
Also freelanced this year with Dave Celia, Tannis Slimmon, Sean Ashby, Kim Wempe, and Carmel Mikol.
I’m gonna do bass sessions for Manitoba Hal in September, be a sideguy at the OCFF in October, house concerts in Ontario in November, and headline my first at the Union St Cafe on Dec 30th. After that, booking the next cross-Canada.
I began teaching at Buckley’s little school in Halifax, and had worked at one point up to about 30 kids a week. When they closed, I simply started doing house calls, and I still do.
Which the parents think is *fabulous*, as they can be making dinner rather than carpooling kids around. Plus, it kills multiple birds for me, as there is no reason any parent should know how to set up or maintain a drum set or a practice space, so I can go facilitate that, and not have to give anyone else a cut. It’ll never be the biggest chunk of my income, but I’ll never stop, as I understand what my students are going through and I find pleasure in translating it all for them, empowering girls to play, creating community, and also re-examining my own process through the lens of someone else’s. I had somewhere around ten weekly students this summer.
There you have it, folks. The three parts of my professional life, all of which feed, support, and inform each other, and my larger process. Thanks for your consideration.