Mikey’s Juke Joint & Eatery (1901 10th Ave. S.W.)
Thursday, Aug. 1, 9 p.m.
Cover charge: $10
Some musicians set out to push all the right buttons with their songwriting, make all the right noises with their playing, do whatever it takes to be loved by the audience. Then there are others who ask, “How can I express myself and my ideas in an honest way that draws people in, entertains and connects with them?”
A successful artist needs to have some combination of both attitudes. But leaning toward the latter, more artistically genuine and timeless approach is the key to keeping listeners interested and turning them into permanent fans.
“If I can get really clear about what I want to say, it becomes universal,” explains Calgary singer-songwriter Amy Thiessen. “When you have the moment when it feels right, there are no clichs.”
Thiessen is a gifted vocalist and musician whose songs are imbued with a powerful melodic drive. To use her words, it’s “intense contemporary folk,” influenced by the world music and spirituality in which she’s been steeped through spending time in Europe and India, as well as her extensive background in teaching yoga.
Being in touch with, and unafraid of, deep emotions helps her forge an instant connection with listeners. “The more you feel something, the more you feel everything. The deeper you feel love, the deeper the fear of loss.”
Sonically, her voice and music spring from a legacy of lyrically honest and uncontrived female artists that includes performers from Carole King to Feist. Thiessen seamlessly incorporates pop rhythms, emotional observations – and the occasional yogic mantra – into a unique, listenable and catchy concoction.
With a new album in the works to follow up 2011’s Give Up the Fight, Thiessen and singer-guitarist-bandmate Curtis Glas will take the stage at Mikey’s on Thursday to play a wide range of covers and originals.
“We’re going to do some old country songs, I’m going to play some songs I haven’t played in a few years – and because I’m a giant dork, I will crack really bad jokes between songs.”