Bruce Cockburn Performs with Kyra & Tully
Touch of Canadiana, by Greg Burliuk, The Kingston Whig Standard

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TORONTO, 22 November 2009 - Some groups celebrate the release of a new CD in a halfhearted way, using a date that had already been booked and calling it a release party.

Not Kyra and Tully. The local Kingston folk duo spent three years making their new album, Wildlife (in and out of the city), and they want to celebrate. So they've booked a legitimate concert venue, Sydenham Street United Church, and some first-rate talent to perform with them.

Headlining will be Halifax's Jenn Grant, whose music is the theme song for the popular CBC-TV show Heartland and whose recent album, Echoes, has won critical accolades. And in a real coup, they have managed to snag Bruce Cockburn, who has a house near Kingston, who will perform a couple of songs on stage just before intermission, including one with Kyra and Tully.

The duo (whose married name is Pearson) have known Cockburn for a few years now. Each had songs on the Artists For The Algonquin benefit CD last year

"When I asked him, he said I'll let you know," says Kyra. "So we waited on pins and needles for three weeks. And then he said he could do it and feel free to leak it out but that he would only be doing a couple of songs.

"It's an amazing thrill to share the stage with him."

It might seem like a big task to stage a concert, and it is, but the duo are not without resources. When the Sydenham Street United Church is used for concerts, Tully is usually part of the tech team. And Kyra has front-of-house experience, both at the Church for Queen's Performing Arts Office concerts and also at the Baby Grand. Plus, many of their musical friends have volunteered to help out.

"We just can't wait to get it out," says Kyra of the CD. "It's a really big deal for us and we put a lot of sweat and tears into it."

It's not that the journey wasn't a pleasant one, however. The process started in 2007 when 13 bedtracks were laid down, including vocals, bass and drums. From there, the process became a little more leisurely.

"Chris (Coleman, at whose Leopard Frog Studios the CD was recorded) was a real pleasure to work with," says Tully. "And if we wanted an extra bit added, we could ask some of our musical friends."

The songs themselves date back as long as 10 years ago. One of them is one of Tully's favourites, Thunder Bay. "I did it with Me Man Jack as a reggae song but it really begged to be done this way as a folk song," he says. "At the time, I was writing songs about going to San Jose, which I'd never been to, so why not Thunder Bay, which I had.

"I like songs that have that feeling of a ghost in them like Bruce Springsteen's Atlantic City. That's what I'm attempting to do in that song."

Kyra's favourite is one she wrote called Stitched on a Cloth.

"It's about our little community of friends and how we can feel their embrace and their help," she says.

The 11 songs on the CD can roughly be divided between Tully's songs from the road and Kyra's from the heart.

Tully says you could also say that the CD is "Canadiana for the whole family.

"We mention nature, and [Hwy.] 401 and Thunder Bay, which are Canadiana themes. And I even say I'm sorry."

The essentials:

Who: Local folksingers Kyra and Tully are celebrating the release of their new CD Wildlife (in and out of the city).

What: They are having a concert in which they open for their friend, Halifax's Jenn Grant, and get Bruce Cockburn on stage to play a few songs.

When: The concert is tonight at 7 p. m. at Sydenham Street United Church. Cost:Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Children under 12 free.

Where to get tickets:Tickets are available at Queen's Performing Arts Office (JDUC), Zap Records, Tara Foods, and Brian's Record Option. Album: The CD is available at the concert for $15 and also at Zap Records and Brian's Record Option. Also present will be Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.

from ~ Touch of Canadiana, By Greg Burliuk, The Kingston Whig Standard, November 21, 2009. 11 January 2010 -

video from November 23, 2009 Kingston show with Krya and Tully.

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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.