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CHATTER: A soulful performance from a Howland porch (Oct. 2020)

November 2nd, 2020 · No Comments


Stephanie Martin has been singing and performing her whole life. The singer-songwriter and actress has been on the national and international scene for 30 years, but when the new coronavirus hit, everything changed.

“For showbiz people, it has just been devastating. Going from working all the time and travelling and having an outlet for what we do, to nothing. No money, no fulfillment, no connection with our people, and it’s really tough,” she says.

When the government eased the COVID-19 restrictions, Martin decided to perform a small porch concert with her band, David MacDougall (drums), Chad Irschick (Rhodes keyboard), Mike Francis (guitar), and Tom Szczesniak (bass). 

“It was a relief for people to have a little bit of normal. But more than that, when you go to the theatre or when you go see a concert, you have a moment of losing yourself and losing your worries and losing your own ego and anxieties melt away,” says Martin. “I would want to encourage artists to have good ideas about how to reach people and how to provide that because it’s a service. It’s like a medical service for the soul.”

The concert wasn’t advertised much in the area, nonetheless, about 60 people attended (within the guidelines at the time of the event).

“I did it for myself, for my band, and for people. I love my neighbours. It’s amazing what’s happened,” says Martin. “It’s bizarre that it is maybe one of the most meaningful concerts I’ve ever done and that happened right on my front porch.”

The concerts took place on August 15 and September 12.

—Tanya Ielyseieva/Gleaner News


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