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Great Lake Swimmers will calm the soul with Brock show

Great Lake Swimmers are, from left, Erik Arnesen, Julie Fader, Tony Dekker, Bret Higgins and Greg Millson. Photo: Candace MeyerSome of Niagara’s homegrown talent will play a special showcase at Brock next week.Great Lake Swimmers, led by Wainfleet native Tony Dekker, will play the Centre for the Arts on April 23. The showcase will be the culmination of In the Soil, an event that showcased more than 70 musicians, performers, dancers and filmmakers in downtown St. Catharines on April 15. Three of the jury’s top picks from that festival will share the stage with Dekker.Great Lake Swimmers’ latest album, Lost Channels, was nominated for the prestigious Polaris Prize and landed on numerous international best-of lists last year. The band will also play the Juno Awards on CTV on April 18.Dekker described for The Brock News what he has in store for his show at Brock.***BN: What are some of your memories of playing in St. Catharines?TD: Growing up in the Niagara Region, St. Catharines was the place to take some of my earliest musical endeavors with my high school band when we were ready to emerge from the basement. I have fond memories of playing to friends and small audiences at places all along St. Paul Street and beyond. Does anyone remember the Hideaway? It’s been a number of years since I’ve been there.BN: How has being from Wainfleet impacted you musically?Since I am the principal songwriter in the band, I would say that it has impacted our music significantly. I think that being raised on a farm in a rural environment has taught me a lot about the rhythms of the natural world, and to have a respect for, and also a fear of, the natural environment. When it comes to my writing, I feel that I have a unique perspective in that regard, and I continue to delve further into themes about attempting to seek a kind of spirituality in the natural world, for example. Since living in the city, I’ve also tried to gain perspective about how urban cycles can create a tension with, but also run parallel to, other more rural cycles.BN: What kind of year has 2010 been for the band so far? So far in 2010, we have toured in China for the first time, played two shows at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, played at the Cold Snap Festival in Prince George, B.C., played a sold-out show in Toronto at the beautiful Trinity St. Paul Church, opened for Calexico in Montreal, Que., appeared on the CBC Radio morning show “Go!,” have won a Canadian Music Week “Indie” Award for best folk/roots album as well as playing at the awards show, filmed two videos for songs from our most recent album Lost Channels, and most recently, have been nominated for a Juno Award in the folk/traditional group category. We’re also about to release an acoustic live album called The Legion Sessions. We’ve definitely started off the year with a flurry of activity.BN: What can people who come to the show expect?Our band has solidified into hearty five-piece over the last year. We’ve recently added a violinist, Miranda Mulholland, who will also be singing backup vocals. This is in addition to Erik Arnesen on banjo and guitar, Bret Higgins on the upright bass, Greg Millson on the drums, and me on acoustic guitar and vocals. We’ll be playing songs spanning all of our four released albums. Our music, while it has its more upbeat moments, is also atmospheric and is ideally meant for a listening audience. It’s not exactly party music! It’s music that’s meant to calm the soul.Links:• Great Lake Swimmers• In the SoilDetails:When: Friday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m.Tickets: $20To order: www.arts.brocku.ca, 905.688.5550 x3257 or toll free at 1-866-617-3257Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. read more