By Jesse Munro
From Craig Cardiff’s gentle, reflective everyman folk to David Myles’ peppy and vibrant acoustic funk, students were exposed to what seemed like the entire spectrum of the singer-songwriter genre on Sept. 15 in the Student Commons.
Cardiff was first to take the stage and immediately radiated ease and a genuine desire to connect with the crowd. In his muddy boots and simple attire, the bearded entertainer switched seamlessly from singer to storyteller, warming up the initially shy crowd to a comfortable atmosphere complete with laughter and even – after some coaxing – slow dancing.
“I feel lucky to be able to do this,” said Cardiff in an interview with the Times. “I don’t think my music is cool – it’s not connected to any huge style. I’m telling meaningful stories, capturing moments and sharing them from generation to generation, through accessible songs.”
Peppering his performance with anecdotes, Cardiff shared the story of the background of his song, Father Daughter Dance. The tale focused around a theme all too relatable to many of those in attendance: procrastination.
“Some friends asked me to play at their wedding and they wanted me to sing some of my own songs and learn some covers,” Cardiff told the audience. “I didn’t want to do that. So I asked if I could write them their own song.”
For six months, Cardiff procrastinated. Each time they asked, he assured the couple of the song’s imminent and glorious completion while doing all things other than writing the promised song up to the day of the wedding.
“Three things saved me that day: uncles, alcohol and speeches. I wrote that song in the back of the hall,” quipped Cardiff as he began the tune.
The crowd loved it.
“As a fan, it was great to see him again,” said Madeline Eisenberg, a first-year radio broadcasting student. “I danced and it wasn’t awkward at all. It was great to be a part of Craig’s connection with the audience.”
David Myles brought an altogether different vibe to the show as he dove immediately into his upbeat style, dancing across the small stage from the moment he stepped onto it. But, like Cardiff, the Fredericton-born musician told stories to form a link between himself and the audience.
“It’s important to be down to earth and remember that you’re never above the audience,” said Myles in an interview with the Times. “I feel privileged to be able to play music for a living.”
After a few songs, Myles paused to share the tale behind his resplendent garb.
“My family is very smart; my siblings are all doctors,” explained Myles. “And in university I studied political science. I graduated and worked a year in politics before I decided that I wanted to write love songs for a living.
“I broke the news to my dad and I didn’t want him to be too upset so I told him I’d wear a suit to work every day.”
Best known for his collaboration with fellow east coaster, Classified, on the song ‘Inner Ninja’, Myles stressed the importance of staying true to oneself and being authentic.
“When I was about to play at the Much Music Video Awards with Classified, I knew that I would stick out in the suit,” said Myles. “But in the end I decided to do my own thing and it works for me.”
Another evident facet of Myles’ style is the positive message of his lyrics. While his contemporaries may croon through the tale of a bad break up, Myles injects some humour into the situation with his song, ‘How’d I ever think I Loved You’.
“I’m a hopeful guy, it’s definitely part of my personality,” explained Myles in an interview after the show. “I have a good time onstage and I want everyone to be smiling after the show.
“I’m filling the positivity niche.”