Showcasing a thoroughly unique style via an amazing gift for expression, Major Love heads to the City for a show March 30th. Presented by the Central Music Festival Society, the concert runs at the Elks Lodge.
Major Love is the moniker of Canadian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Colleen Brown – and a collaboration which also features Alberta rockers Scenic Route To Alaska.
The self-titled debut album Major Love, released last summer, is the first under this moniker and was conceived in London’s Bedroom Bar during their first tour overseas.
“This is a hot band,” explained Brown during a recent chat. “I am not afraid to say these are some of the best players that you would find from across Canada, and definitely western Canada.
“I love playing with those guys – they are great human beings to be around, and we have a really great chemistry. That all bleeds over to the music really easily. It’s very intuitive and you just get locked in with each other.”
Scenic Route To Alaska were also, at the time in London, wrapping shows in Germany and the UK, promoting their newest disc.
Although they had met briefly some years prior, it was ‘across the pond’ in 2015 that the two acts found themselves on the same stage in Shoreditch.
“At that show, we all kind of looked at each other and knew that we should play music together. It seemed obvious.
“I think that’s a big part of why we decided it was kind of meant to be, because it was such an unusual place to have that kind of connection,” she added.
The album, released last summer, was tracked live-off-the-floor in Edmonton’s True North Studios.
“I do come from a family where all of the kids took piano lessons, and my mom sang in the church choir,” Brown explains of her early experiences with music. “I would say it was pretty front and centre, and I just flourished in those areas. I loved it.
“So I sang in choirs, I took piano lessons and I danced ballet for years, and I also did musical theatre,” she said, adding that it wasn’t until she studied music at Grant McEwan in Edmonton that she came to realize the possibilities of a career in music.
“I had never met anyone who was doing original music for a living, or it hadn’t at least soaked in that that was a possibility until I was basically at McEwan,” she explained.
“It was there that I was surrounded by people who were at least starting to dip their toes in, and a lot of the teachers had been doing it for years. It was an eye-opener.”
From there, Brown noted that the best advice she landed during those years was to take any and every opportunity to hit the stage.
“Don’t be a perfectionist and just start playing shows,” she recalled being told. “A lot of people go to college and they have such high standards for themselves that they will wait years trying to get good enough to do something they think is worth other people’s time.
“But I was out playing all of the open stages and little coffee shop gigs as soon as I finished college. I was really shy and I had huge stage fright,” she added with a laugh. But she also signed on with a corporate cover band called The Kit Kat Club, which further honed her skills as a performer and served to bolster her sense of confidence further.
“It was a show band, so I was singing and dancing and dressing up in costumes doing music from the 60s, 70s and 80s, so it was a lot of fun. And it was really important for me in getting my feet wet and getting more comfortable with being onstage.
“But the more you get onstage, the more you realize that you have something to offer.”
Meanwhile, as to Major Love’s debut disc, the first two singles Tear It Down and So Good were both embraced at CBC Radio 2 and enjoyed some commercial radio crossover.
Motherland – written as a love-letter to Alberta – also won a province-wide songwriting contest in 2015 through the ATB competition, to the tune of $10,000.
The ballad I Love All Of You was a finalist in the Unsigned Only International Songwriting Competition for 2017.
These days, Brown is also working on tunes for her own next solo project.
“The music world – I don’t know what I would do without it,” she said. “It’s in my bones, it’s a part of me.”
For tickets for their upcoming show, or more information, check out www.centralmusicfest.com.