Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 8:30pm
Truth and Dare with Christina Martin, Crissi Cochrane, Mary Stewart
$20 Advance / $25 Door *
* Every year, the resources of shelters across this city become invariably strained as the cold weather replaces the autumn. In solidarity with one in particular, we are offering 50% admission with any donation at the door to The Red Door Shelter, an incredible relief centre for women in Toronto’s east end. If you would like to attend the show and also donate to the cause, please call our box office at 416-533-5483 and we will arrange for tickets and donation at will-call on the night of the performance. #MusicMatters
Christina Martin is a multi-award winning Canadian singer-songwriter whose style has been described as an effortless union between Americana and Rock.
Raised on Canada’s East Coast, Martin moved to Austin, Texas in the summer of 1999. In the fall of ’99 she moved to Salzgitter, Germany where she collaborated on a commercial pop project, marking her first experience singing in a professional studio. In May 2000 she returned to Austin to explore performing and song writing. Following her role as supporting vocalist and dancer for the Austin high-energy rock band Young Heart Attack in 2001, Martin launched her solo career in 2002 with an opening slot for Wilco and her debut album Pretty Things. Shortly after the album’s release, she moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia and had her first commercial success when two of her songs were placed in the award-winning British-Canadian two-part drama Sex Traffic (2004) and in the TV drama series Snakes and Ladders (2004).
Following two years of touring across Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, The UK, Switzerland, Austria, France and Canada, Martin returned home briefly in 2016 to write her newest album. A fervent anthem for those who are lost and longing, Lungs Are Burning was the first single from her album Impossible To Hold (Released March 23, 2018). The first single was triggered by the rising Fentanyl drug crisis killing thousands of Canadians, with Christina’s lyrics set to music by her and Dale Murray. With lyrics like “while I’m watching the babies” and “got to go out and get some, baby”, Martin captures the desperation of “chasing the dream” and the horror of living it. Murray’s stately production brings that stark reality home with a bite. Martin: “The song is an modest attempt to bring light to the heavy topic of addiction, and reflects my own personal sense of loss, longing and a deep void, and the ache I feel from losing my brother and friends to addiction and mental illness.” For her Canadian tour dates, Christina has partnered with Center for Addiction and Mental Health to increase engagement and awareness.
“Impossible To Hold” is Martin’s sixth and strongest studio album, achieving a perfect balance between organic ambience and impeccable production. “I’m writing about faith and love more than ever with songs like ‘Keep Me Calm’ and ‘Always Reminding’, but I haven’t shaken the need to write about the darker things that are part of our human journey”. Combining good taste, passionate singing and thoughtful lyrics, “Impossible To Hold” is where music and poetry meet. The album won the 2018 Music Nova Scotia Award for Pop Recording of the Year.
Native to the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Crissi fashions a sultry and soulful brand of popular music, jazz, and R&B. Silky vocals reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Norah Jones glow atop the purr of her Fender Jaguar electric guitar.
On stage, refined songs reveal more than a decade’s worth of experience first gained as a young girl growing up in small town Canada, diligently writing, recording, and performing. For a few years, Crissi settled in the nearby city of Halifax, studying Music Business and becoming known for her melodic folk/pop style. Her debut studio album Darling, Darling emerged in the summer of 2010, recorded in Chicago with musician Mike Kinsella (of Owen, American Football, Joan of Arc), but not before a trip to Canada’s southernmost city set the wheels of change into motion. Crissi fell in love with Windsor, Ontario and neighboring Detroit in early 2010 and moved there by summer’s end.
With the influence of Motown only a riverbank away, a musical maturation began. Detroit’s radio, record stores, and clubs offered a cup from which she drank deeply, inspiring new songs with echoes of jazz, blues, bossa nova, and soul. Her latest album Little Sway (2014) reveals a soulful sophistication, hailed by CBC personality Grant Lawrence as “a confident bridge towards sultry soul and classic, smoky jazz.” Listeners voted Crissi among the Top 10 Best New Artists nationwide in CBC’s 2014 Searchlight contest, and her song “Pretty Words” has gone viral on Spotify with more than 12 million listens. Her music has been heard across Canada on CBC Radio 1, 2, and 3, and has charted on campus/community radio, reaching #1 at SCOP in Toronto and remaining in the charts for 12 consecutive weeks, and her song “A Damn Shame” was heard in the ABC TV show Nashville. Today she is the wife of songwriter/bassist Michael Paul (The Walkervilles), and has been seen sharing stages with Walk Off The Earth, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sarah Harmer, and Jesse Cook. While working on plans for a new album, she writes love songs by request, completing more than 50 of these special songs since 2016.
Mary Stewart isn’t a singer songwriter. Well, she does sing and she likely writes more songs than anyone you’ve ever met, but if you’re picturing a sullen woman perched atop a wooden stool, playing depressing songs on her oversized acoustic, you’ve pegged her all wrong.
In fact, Mary has never sported an acoustic guitar during a live show and prefers to strum along on her Gretsch, singing clever pop songs, and sharing anecdotes about her love of baking, cats, and hopes of becoming Sidney Crosby’s wife.
Hailing from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Mary grew up consuming an incredible range of genres from folk and pop to opera and hair metal – true story. Before her pop days, Mary was classically trained in opera. Her mother sang in hair metal bands and her dad was a sound engineer.
“My parents would bring me along to gigs because it was easier than finding a babysitter,” says Mary.
She really didn’t stand a chance to fall in love with any career other than music.
* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.