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L.A. Beat

Donovan Woods enjoying Juno week before making Lethbridge debut

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Lethbridge welcomes Juno award winning singer songwriter Donovan Woods to the  Sterndale Bennett Theatre, March 24 for a special Geomatic Attic show.Donovan Woods plays Lethbridge, March 24. Photo by Danielle Holbert
Donovon Woods is a busy man. He just took home this year‘s Juno Award award for best contemporary roots album, he spent last week playing Juno week in London, Ontario and touring in support of his most recent album “Both Ways.”


Donovan Woods Sarnia, Ontario based a two time JUNO nominated singer/songwriter. He has previously been nominated for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year as well as Songwriter of the Year at the JUNO Awards in 2014 and 2017 respectively. As a songwriter, he has been involved in the writing of songs for artists such as Billy Currington, Alan Doyle, Charles Kelly & Tim McGraw.


He is enjoying being part of Juno week in London Ontario.
“The routine for Juno week includes more thinking about clothes than I like to do. There's a lot of dressing up and expectations to look cool and stuff. That stresses me out a bit. What I enjoy most about it is just seeing friends and folks I know,” he wrote in response to a series of e-mailed questions, sent before his win.


“ Our Canadian music community is small, so in a way, it's just a fun hang. Being nominated for “songwriter of the year” is exciting, of course. It's the award I dreamed about winning as a kid writing songs. Lots of my heroes have won it, so it's a thrill. I'm always pleasantly surprised to be nominated for things. I know how many good records come out every year, because I'm a music fan, and I love so many of them, so it's surprising to be centred out, yes. ”


 This year, he was up against  new albums from the Deep Dark Woods, Megan nash, AHI and Kaia Kater.

He has been spending some time co-writing in Nashville for country stars like Tim McGraw, Billy Currington and even great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle.

“I was invited to go to Nashville to do a couple co-writes about 6 years ago, by a guy who had heard my records and thought I might be good at it. I was very nervous, and I'd never written with anyone else before. Now it's old hat and I love meeting songwriters. They're my favourite type of people. Hearing a famous person sing a song you wrote never gets old, it's always a trip. To hear a voice you know well suddenly singing your words, and your phrasings is weird and wonderful. But the best part is going to a show and hearing a crowd singing along. That's when you feel like you've really done your job well.”

His new CD “Both Ways” has a more fleshed out sound.
“"Both Ways" has the biggest most full-sounding songs I've ever recorded and some of the smallest sounding, which is why I called it that. I think the recordings have grown larger over time for a couple reasons. One, the budgets get bigger, so you can afford to have great players come into the studio and be great. And two, the shows I play have gotten bigger. You always have to go around and play the songs on the record for everyone and as we begin to play in bigger spaces, it makes sense for the songs to reflect that and fill up those spaces well,” he wrote, noting he is working his fifth CD.
“I'd say I'm about four songs done into the next record, but I think we're a good while away from it coming out. I don't know what it'll sound like yet, and that's my favourite place to be at. We've got some other new exciting things coming out before then though,” he noted.


He is looking forward to his Lethbridge debut.
“I've never played Lethbridge before, no! Very excited to do so.  I'll be performing with the whole 5 piece band, The Opposition, so it'll be loud sometimes and quiet other times. We've even got a big banner with my name on it, so for sure come and check that out. It was $1,400 so at least have a look at it.”
The show begins at  8 p.m. sharp  in Sterndale Bennett Theatre. Tickets are $38.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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