Springing Forward

Hi everyone,

I know: it’s been awhile. A year ago this time, I toured from Winnipeg to Nanaimo and back, partly with my favourite House Concert network Home Routes, and partly opening for my pal Stephen Fearing. It was 7 weeks, I think, by the time I got home, and in the process released Canada’s first postcard-album (‘Live in Orillia!’). I’ve done a lot of roadwork with my dudes Charlie A’Court and Kim Wempe, taught at Lunenburg Folk Festival‘s Song Camp, sessioned on Bob Ardern‘s new record, been teaching students around home when I can, and just got back from an epic trip to the North American Folk Alliance, in Kansas City MO, stopping off in Guelph ON on the way home to do some writing and demoing work towards my new record.

Yes, a new record. It’s coming. Soon.

I confess here that I needed a change-up. I’d lost interest. I got some electric guitars. I switched up my writing. The only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to just regurgitate what I’d already done.

And now, the snow’s starting to melt off.

Plans are afoot for business expansion into the States. It looks like my old band Knifey Moloko (we were before the internet tidal wave, so there was no site) might reunite in Vancouver for a member’s wedding. Charlie and Kim have stuff coming up. All is proceeding apace.

Here’s a new tune.

Most of my friends are songwriters, middle-aged, and/or female. I’ve had some talks lately with at least 5 of them, each experiencing some doubt as to how much their music remains relevant in the current pop culture. I decided I might remind them that they (you) are the coolest. Their (your) voice is the one I listen to most. In honour of International Women’s Day, this is for my sisters, cousins, aunties, friends, and moms. Especially Linda. Love you to bits.




So, a lot has happened, and you need to know, in order to get what’s been going on over here in the Corbett Inc. saltmine.

When I put out the last record, which is partly the subject of this website, I toured it off and on for the better part of a couple years. It was frantic: Folk-Fest-offered, record done, booking, 2 months on a train to BC and back, drive to BC and back, trip around Ontario, trip to Newfoundland, back to Ontario, it was relentless, fun, tiring, an amazing privilege.

That tour ended, the day I and some friends found a dead teenager floating in a river in Thunder Bay.

(He was a 15 year old named Jordan Wabasse, who had left his town, Webequie First Nation, to go to school in Thunder Bay. He was a hockey player, an artist, a boyfriend, a shy kid. I found out that thousands of Aboriginal kids do this every year: go live in boarding houses 600 clicks away from everything and everyone they know, in a foreign culture, because their schools aren’t funded past grade nine at home. Sometimes they want to, because they dream of life’s possibilities. Sometimes they are reluctantly pushed, because ‘go do something with your life’. It boggles any mind, the weight they must feel.)

For almost a year, I didn’t write. I wasn’t interested in playing. I hated this country, for not giving Native kids the same shake I had. For apologizing out of one side of the mouth to their parents for ruining their lives in residential schools, while simultaneously upholding all the trappings of official colonialism and racism.

This past February, I knew I had to shake that negative inertia off. I jumpstarted myself with a writing project, through February Album Writing Month (FAWM.org), which is a website where songwriters hang, and everyone tries to write 14 songs during the month of February. I got it done! Not all keepers, mind you, but first drafts. Some of them will make it into shows, onto records, some may not, but just needed to be written out, and thereby shut up in my head.

I had a deadline, see.

I’m gonna do another Home Routes house concert tour next March, through northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. It’ll be long past time for a new record by then, and people have been asking for a ‘Live’ record for 3 years, so I need to have it done by then, which means preferably ready to go by Xmas, which means sooner rather than later. So I’m booking a tour across Ontario for August, and recording ‘Live in Orillia’ at a show some friends are hosting for me there. I’ll drive out to Thunder Bay, where we found Jordan, and lay it all to rest. Visit Manitoulin Island, Owen Sound, Prince Edward County, do some camping. I can’t wait.

Then it’s album production, and start booking for next year. I’m gonna release two records, the live one and a new studio project, produced by my friend Lewis Melville, in Guelph. And tour like crazy. Because I can, because I must, because I promised Jordan.


Well, thanks, Penguin Eggs!

From Penguin Eggs, Canada’s Folk/Roots music magazine:

“Kev Corbett, with his 10-track debut release Son of a Rudderless Boat, has taken a beautiful snapshot of the Canadian landscape. This native Nova Scotian’s voice is like no one else. He is all Canadian, with hints of Cockburn, Cohen and Lightfoot in his voice. Corbett weaves through well-crafted and skillfully written songs about everything from love to fallen idols to roadside adventures.
Primarily an acoustic release, Corbett’s dazzling guitar playing compliments his unique perspective on life. Son of a Rudderless Boat has it all, from the quirky, as in the humorous foot tappin’ Cheese and Whiskey, to the introspective of Uncle, a stirring honest observation of a bigot uncle.
Corbett is a true folksinger and Son of a Rudderless Boat is filled with passionate commentaries, and none more spirited than Skull and Bones, a story about civic corruption and civic do-gooders. Son of a Rudderless Boat is a marvelous listen.” (by Phil Harries)


Torontonians, this one’s for you!

Hey, TOnians!

I don’t do it often, but I’m doin’ it next week- playin’ your town! Any chance you’d wanna stop by?

Monday night, May 16th, 10 pm sharp, I’ll be the guest of the Ladies in Waiting (CindyDoire, Andrea Ramolo, Sarah Burton, Faye Blais, and Sara Fitzpatrick) at their Monday series at Not My Dog on Queen at Jameson. Real psyched: amazing artists, great little spot.


Kev Corbett & Ladies in Waiting
@ Not My Dog, 1510 Queen St W @ Jameson, Toronto.
10pm Cover: Pass the jug!



Tuesday afternoon, I’m playing RootsMusicCanada’s Woodshed Sessons!


These dudes are doing heaven’s work for Canadian Roots Musicians, and I’m honoured to be invited into the sanctum. Might even bring a present for ’em.


Tuesday night, May 17th, 10 pm sharp, I’m splitting a night with my ole buddy Dave Borins at the amazing Tranzac. I’ve always wanted to play here, and Dave’s doing amazing stuff these days. Couldn’t be happier.

Kev Corbett & Dave Borins
@ The Tranzac (Southern Cross Room), 292 Brunswick Ave. Toronto
10 pm Cover: Pass the jug!



For further info, contact kev at kevcorbett dot com.
See ya there?




“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

He likes one fan’s description: Like Cohen, but with a sense of humour; Dylan, without the angst.

People keep telling Kev Corbett he really doesn’t sound like anbody else. He’s a wordy guy with a big heart. A serious guitar picker. A man who loves a great story, especially if it isn’t his. He’s comfortable in his own skin, not a hint of pretense.

He’s experienced, too: he’s got about 20 countries worth of touring under his belt, keeps placing in songwriting competitions, and had opened in the last year for Stephen Fearing, Jill Barber, Ben Sures, and Annabelle Chvostek. But, to hell with musical comparisons: this dude’s a writer. He’s known for the attention-to-the-everyday of an Alice Munro, the attention-to-detail and research of a Robertson Davies, the brutal frankness of a Farley Mowat, the warm-cuddliness of a Peter Gzowski. This year, he toured coast to coast and back by train over two months. Five days later, he set out to do it again.

Kev Corbett is the best kind of folksinger, writing zingers that can veer hilarious, heartbreaking, lusty, pious, political, fighty, thoughtful, wistful, helpful, and/or clever; and then usually throw a self-deprecating monologue on top. It’s hard not to pay attention; stories become songs break down into stories, and you realize he’s not singing about his own life. He’s singing ours.



Tour diary: introducing Shawna Caspi to NS

I’ve been thinking about Sense of Place, lately.

I spent most of the last year on the road, windows down, music up, hair blowing, seeing new stuff. Connected to nothing but the zen of the journey itself. Seeing many places and things I never had. Tofino. Cathedral Grove. Kitsilano. A bear in Jasper. 4 trips across the Prairies. The hoserlicious pleasures of Northern Ontario. Fi’ n’ chi’ at the Ship. On and on.

But it’s time to siddown. I have songs scratching at the windows to get out. I need to reconnect with my back yard. I wanna spend time in a kayak. I am gonna have a beachbum summer.

Enter Shawna Caspi.

She called up recently, and said, ‘So if a girl were to find her way into a plane ticket, ya think, there might be some shows to be booked?’

I booked it to show my buddy around a bit. We’re calling it the She Came On A Whim And Couldn’t Go Home Tour. We played The Scuttlebutt in Lunenburg last night. What a wicked little place. Wolfville tonight, Tatamagouche Thursday, Shelburne Friday, Halifax on Saturday. Then I’m off to Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, and Toronto, but that’s about the extent of my touring plan. I think you’re gonna have a sense of whatever place is home, of course, and no place is really better than another. But as Denis Ryan says, one of the great things about our job is that it has more than its fair share of homecomings. If anyplace will fill my well again, this is it.


Happy New Year!

Hey kids,
I read a great piece in the paper this morning – actually, two – about the rituals around the revolution of one year to the next (one pro, one con). This brings one to thinking about how the year’s been, and what the next may hold.

It’s been a great year, thanks to many people. My Person, fans of live music, VIA Rail, many good (and many new) friends, and many supportive clients, bosses, colleagues, and peers. THANK YOU.

I’ve had some really good news about new partnerships for the coming year, things that are booking up, songs coming in, radiolike, ready to emerge. This is gonna be another great year. There is much to celebrate.

I’ll leave you for now with a video, kindly supplied by my friends Andy and Ariana, of a performance at Wolfville, Nova Scotia’s excellent series The Night Kitchen. An amazing song by Chris Wood that I’ve been obsessing over for some time. I hopoe you like it as much as I do.

Thank you. Happy New Year. See ya on the road.



It’s been a good year.

Summary of 2009-2010:

– Booked and hosted ‘Sing for Your Supper’ songwriters’ circle every Saturday @ The Carleton for a year.

– Side guy clients: Sean Ashby, Old Man Luedecke, Steven Bowers, Norma MacDonald, Christina Martin, Charlie A’Court, Gillian Boucher, Kim Wempe, Carmel Mikol, Charlie A’Court, Ryan MacGrath

– Successful Bringin’ It Home Tour with Steven Bowers, Norma MacDonald, Christina Martin, and Thom Swift.


– Composed, Produced, Arranged and Performed by Kev Corbett (see kevcorbett.com/liner-notes).

– Soft launched new album from Main Stage of Lunenburg Folk Fest.

– Paused for 5-week tour of Germany, Holland, and Switzerland as tour support for Jennifer Roland

– Officially launched new album Jan 16th 2010 @ Company House in Halifax.

– Positive meetings with International One-on-One delegates at ECMA 2009, 2010. Still following up on heels of four months on the road.

– Booked and completed 2-month 35-date cross-Canada tour

– Radio play resulted in Top 25 Folk/Roots of 2009 chart placement in Kamloops BC, Earshot National Folk/Roots #3 the week of Christmas 2009, play on 20 something stations, regional and national plays on CBC 1, 2, and 3.

– Was CBCr3 track of the day on April 15, 2010.
– featured artist on Sonicbids.com for September 2010

– Opened for Stephen Fearing at my top rooms in the country for my style: London Music Club, Black Sheep, Peterborough Collegiate, Cafe Rhythm, and Hugh’s Room.

Radio Support:
CBCr3 track of the day on April 15, 2010 – Cheese & Whiskey
CBC Radio 1, 2, and 3 plays in various markets.
Campus support – #3 Earshot Folk/Roots Chart Nov&Dec 2009
featured on Q104’s Route 104
featured on Tell the Band to go Home
8 weeks chart at 92.5 the X – C/C radio at Thompson Rivers U, Kamloops, BC
featured on various CKDU 88.1 Halifax shows
played on all ‘regional feature shows (East Coast Kitchen Party, etc)

– Goals:

– Video for ‘Cheese and Whiskey’
– Home Routes tour, early 2011 (booked)
– begin planning for UK, Australia
– secure a label arrangement
– begin demoing for next record in early 2011

How it’s been:

Feb TBA, 2011 Home Routes Tour
Oct 22, 2010 The Rose and Thistle St John’s, NL
Oct 21, 2010 The Bull and Barrel St John’s, NL
Oct 20, 2010 The Ship Inn St John’s, NL
Oct 19, 2010 The Grapevine St John’s, NL
Oct 14, 2010 OCFF Ottawa, ON
Oct 15, 2010 OCFF Ottawa, ON (Groundswell Room Showcase)
Oct 16, 2010 OCFF Ottawa, ON (Youth Mentor Program Showcase)
Oct 17, 2010 OCFF Ottawa, ON
Oct 8, 2010 House Concert Oakville, ON
Oct 7, 2010 House Concert Kingston, ON
Oct 3, 2010 House Concert Sudbury, ON
Oct 2, 2010 House Concert North Bay, ON
Sept 22, 2010 The Company House Halifax, NS
Sept 17, 2010 House Concert Amherst, NS
Sept 14, 2010 The Carleton Halifax, NS


Aug 28, 2010 The Dunk Breadalbane PEI
Jul 26, 2010 Victoria Playhouse Victoria PE
Jul 4, 2010 StanFest, s/g w/ Lynne Hanson, Irish Mythen
Jul 3, 2010 StanFest, s/g w/ Lynne Hanson, Irish Mythen
Jul 2, 2010 StanFest, s/g w/ Lynne Hanson, Irish Mythen
Jun 11, 2010 Tantramar Theatre Amherst, NS
May 29, 2010 London Music Club London, ON op. for Stephen Fearing
May 28, 2010 Hugh’s Room Toronto, ON op. for Stephen Fearing
May 27, 2010 Cafe Rhythm Cannington, ON op. for Stephen Fearing
May 26, 2010 Black Sheep Inn Wakefield, QC op. for Stephen Fearing
May 7, 2010 AMP Festival Wolfville, NS


Apr 29, 2010 The Company House Halifax, NS
Apr 29, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Apr 28, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Apr 27, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Apr 26, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Apr 25, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Apr 24, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Apr 21, 2010 Treehouse Cafe Salt Spring Island BC
Apr 20, 2010 Bluebird North Vancouver, BC
Apr 17, 2010 The Art We Are Kamloops, BC
Apr 16, 2010 Fibonacci Cafe Penticton, NS
Apr 15, 2010 Cocoa-Nut Lounge Nelson, BC
Apr 11, 2010 Railway Club Vancouver, BC
Apr 9, 2010 Wild Heather Books Ucluelet, BC
Apr 8, 2010 Joe’s Garage Courtney, BC
Apr 3, 2010 House Concert Victoria, BC
Apr 2, 2010 Duncan Garage Showroom Duncan, BC
Apr 1, 2010 Cocoa Nymph Chocolates Vancouver, BC
Mar 30, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Mar 29, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Mar 28, 2010 House Concert Twin Butte, AB
Mar 26, 2010 The Artery Edmonton, AB
Mar 25, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Mar 24, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Mar 23, 2010 House Concert Winnipeg, NS
Mar 20, 2010 Sam’s Place Winnipeg, MB
Mar 19, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Mar 18, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car
Mar 16, 2010 C’est What Toronto, NS
Mar 15, 2010 Jimmy Jazz Guelph, ON
Mar 12, 2010 Freeway Coffeehouse Hamilton, NS
Mar 11, 2010 The Troubadour Toronto, ON
Mar 10, 2010 The Moonshine Cafe Oakville, ON
Mar 9, 2010 Burritoville Montreal, QC
Mar 8, 2010 VIA Rail train activity car

Mar 7, 2010 ECMA Sydney, NS
Mar 6, 2010 ECMA – 3 shows on s/g w/ Kim Wempe, 1 with Gill Boucher
Mar 5, 2010 ECMA Roots Room Showcase, plus sideguying with Carmel Mikol and Gillian Boucher
Mar 4, 2010 ECMA Sydney, NS
Feb 12, 2010 op. for Jill Barber Halifax, NS
Feb 11, 2010 op. for Jill Barber Lunenburg, NS
Feb 10, 2010 op. for Jill Barber Truro, NS
Jan 30, 2010 In the Dead of Winter Halifax NS
Jan 29, 2010 In the Dead of Winter Halifax NS
Jan 28, 2010 In the Dead of Winter Halifax NS
Jan 27, 2010 In the Dead of Winter Halifax NS
Jan 26, 2010 In the Dead of Winter Halifax NS
Jan 24, 2010 Bridge St Cafe Sackville NB
Jan 23, 2010 Mason Jar Sussex ,NB
Jan 22, 2010 Kennedy Inn St Andrew’s NB
Jan 21, 2010 Plan B Moncton NB
Jan 20, 2010 The Carleton Halifax, NS
Jan 18, 2010 Seahorse Tavern Halifax NS

Jan 17, 2010 *featured artist, Route 104 on Q104 Halifax*

Jan 16, 2010 *CD RELEASE* The Company House Halifax, NS

Nov 28, 2010 Lunenburg Winery Petite Riviere, NS
Nov 26, 2009 Rose & Kettle Sessions Cole Hbr, NS


*During this tour, SOARB hits #3 on the Earshot Folk/Roots Chart*

Oct 17, 2009 OCFF Ottawa, ON
Oct 16, 2009 OCFF Ottawa, ON (ECMA Stage Showcase)
Oct 15, 2009 OCFF Ottawa, ON
Oct 7th, 2010 s/g w/ Sean Ashby @ Carleton Hfx, NS
Oct 6, 2009 SAC Song Circle Moncton, NS
Oct 1, 2009 sideguying w/ Norma MacDonald @ the Company House Halifax, NS
Sep 26, 2009 Deep Roots Music Fest Wolfville, NS
Sep 25, 2009 Deep Roots Music Fest Wolfville, NS
Sep 24, 2009 Deep Roots Music Fest Wolfville, NS
Sep 20, 2009 Tall Grass Fest Seaforth, NS
Sep 18, 2009 House Concert Stewiacke, NS
Sep 13, 2009 Teaching Songwriting @ Deep Roots Wolfville
Aug 28, 2009 Tunes @ Noon Halifax, NS
Aug 21, 2009 The Bandshell Amherst, NS
Aug 15, 2009 Shelburne Writers’ Fest Shelburne, NS
Aug 7, 2009 Lunenburg Folk Fest
Aug 6th, 2009 MAINSTAGE Lunenburg Folk Fest
Aug 2, 2009 Riverport Fire Hall Riverport, NS
Aug 1, 2009 s/g w/ Steven Bowers, RiverFest, New Glasgow, NS
July 15, 2009 Live to 5 radio show Stouffville, ON
June 27, 2009 Mo’s Cafe Five Islands, NS
June 25, 2009 s/g w/ Steve Bowers The Carleton Hfx, NS
June 18, 2009 s/g w/ Steve Bowers The Carleton Hfx, NS
June 11, 2009 s/g w/ Steve Bowers The Carleton Hfx, NS
June 10, 2009 s/g w/ Norma MacDonald The Seahorse Hfx, NS
June 5, 2009 Union St. Cafe Berwick, NS
June 4, 2009 s/g w/ Steve Bowers The Carleton Hfx, NS
May 23, 2009 s/g w/ Old Man Luedecke Chester, NS
May 22, 2009 s/g w/ Old Man Luedecke Port Hawkesbury, NS
Apr 11, 2009 Dragonfly Cafe Antigonish, NS
Apr 9, 2009 Savoy Theatre Glace Bay, NS
Apr 4, 2009 Astor Theatre Liverpool, NS
Apr 3, 2009 Chester Playhouse Chester, NS
Apr 2, 2009 Gus’ Pub Halifax, NS
Mar 21, 2009 Little River Folk Petite Riviere, NS
Mar 20, 2009 Evergreen Theatre Margaretsville, NS
Feb 27, 2009 ECMA – SAC Songwriters’ Circle Corner Brook, NL
Feb 20, 2009 Union St. Cafe Berwick, NS
Feb 19, 2009 S/g w/ Norma MacDonald @ Seahorse Hfx, NS
Feb 14, 2009 sideguying w/ Old Man Luedecke Lunenburg, NS
Feb 7, 2009 House Concert Alberton, PE
Feb 3, 2009 sideguying w/ Steven Bowers @ MNS night feature slot @ Seahorse Tavern Halifax, NS
Jan 31, 2009 sideguying w/ Norma MacDonald @ In the Dead of Winter Festival Halifax, NS
Jan 27-31, 2009 In the Dead of Winter (solo and s/g with Ryan MacGrath and Norma MacDonald)
Jan 19, 2009 Sideguying w/ Ryan McGrath – CD Release @ Seahorse Tavern Halifax, NS


Nice to be home!

By geez, have I got stories for you…

I’m just back from a month in Germany, where I was playing bass in Jennifer Roland‘s band, as part of the Irish Folk Festival, which is a gig that’s been traveling around Germany for some 30 years. CRAZY.

We started at the Cologne Philharmonic, the most amazing concert hall.

I got shown a recently discovered hiding place for wartime Jews at our venue in Pforzheim. Played a circus in Munich. Stayed in the Reeperbahn (the world-famous red-light district) in Hamburg, saw Tower of Power (!)…

…then Grandmaster Flash, the same night. Arrived in Berlin the night of the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Wall. Only-on-tour stories, I call’em.

And must say: toured with amazing folks. Besides my colleagues Jenny, Keithy, Buddy and Jason, also had a blast hanging out with Tommy O’Sullivan, Niamh Parsons and Graham Dunne, and The David Munnelly Band. A finer bunch you couldn’t have on the road. I miss ’em all like crazy.

So, now that that’s done, we’re getting back on this record releasing thing. The date is just about confirmed, for mid-January. I’ll have more news before too long…

Hey, if you’re in the Halifax area, I’m playing tonight at the Rose and Kettle, out at the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm. Also, Saturday night, at the Lunenburg County Winery with my dudes Steve Bowers and Fleur Mainville. I haven’t seen either in 6 weeks. Like I said, great to be back.