When Canadian singer-songwriter Royal Wood sings into the mic, audiences seem to hang on his each and every word. Wood is as much a storyteller as he is a singer and musician. His songs are about life and living. Some are beautiful, heart rending ballads, some are full of pain, while others simply ask questions of the listener.
Royal Wood will perform on stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at the Shuswap Theatre as part of a series of concerts put together by Ted Crouch and Acoustic Avenue.
One of the most popular acts at last year’s Roots and Blues Festival, Wood is in popular demand across North America and his shows sell out quickly. He, however, still sees himself as a small-town boy who likes to play for small-town audiences. Wood says he’s looking forward to returning to Salmon Arm.
“This time I’ll be performing solo. I like the intimacy of a smaller venue,” says Wood. “As an artist, it gives you a chance to really connect with your audience.”
Wood, who was named iTunes’ Songwriter of the Year, has successful CD’s in A Good Enough Day and Tall Tales, as well as an EP Milkweed to his musical credits. With the release of The Waiting, his most personal and introspective recording to date, Wood says that both his music and lyrics have evolved.
“The songs are born out of the recent experiences of my life,” he says.
They also come from a new willingness to share some of the production aspects of his recordings. As an artist, Wood has spent years perfecting his craft. His previous CD’s were completely self-produced. He arranged each song and played the vast majority of the instruments. Now, he says, he is more willing to share the production process with professionals who are among the most sought after in the recording business.
“The older I get, the more I learn about the importance of letting go,” he says. “It’s taken a while, but now I’m finally willing to let other people be in control. Working together with people who are the best in the industry, we are able to produce something that is the sum total of all its parts.”
The Waiting appropriately begins with a song entitled You Can’t Go Back. Why would he? Wood is well on the road to success.
Despite his fondness for Steinway pianos, vintage guitars and three-piece suits, Wood is remarkably down-to-earth. His silky, smooth vocals and accomplished instrumentals grab heart and soul like a gospel singer praising the Lord. He may sometimes wear his heart on his sleeve, offering up wistful songs of love, both lost and found, but whatever he performs, come Saturday, April 16, he will be winning new fans while continuing to wow his old ones.
Tickets at $20 each are available at Acorn Music 250-832-8669 or the SAGA Public Art Gallery.