and now, a brief word from an audience member:
My thoughts aren’t accompanied by foot tapping rhythms or atmosphere altering melodies.
They are usually just quiet, and mine, and that’s it.
Someone tampers with the neutrality of the air particles in a small space creating an excessively positive environment resulting in ye olde whispering chorus of regular thoughts becoming all hopped up on happy, creative fuel and, in turn, way too loud to ignore.
So in an effort to return to equilibrium, I’m attempting to pass back some of the acquired awesome (I don’t need this much all for myself-it’s mega distracting) by writing this non-song for the guy with a fiddle. Let’s call it an emergency thought inventory blowout.
Things I saw on Saturday:
- A quiet guy with wild hair sitting on the floor in the hallway of Doug and Angela’s house concert…which made me smile as I own a couch, but usually just sit on the floor with wild haired Colin and the dog. Many don’t consider the floor a place to sit, which is silly. It’s so abundant and goes with you everywhere. At art school, I painted while sitting on the floor. That’s where the ideas became tangible things. You seem very skilled at such alchemy.
- An artist of the sound variety…I wondered what colors the sounds would become as it was clear from the start you were offering something more inspiring than just entertainment.
- A local face-lifter skilled at cinching cheeks up with stories and songs for the whole evening…with minimal scarring. So far. Likely none. We'll see.
- A comedian doing stand-up, sitting down…clever method of delivery, but more difficult to see from the crowd. Seeing your face while you played seemed important. I could not. Hearing was enough.
- A gentle commander…clap you monkeys, clap along! As if there was a way to resist the rhythm after 5-6-7-8. I could not sit still.
- . A kid who loves his dad…named Troy.
- . A) An admirer who didn’t realize that the admiree subconsciously dressed herself in a unitard onesie…nature’s most flexible chastity belt.
B) An admiree who didn’t realize that the admirer’s level of what most people would consider “weird” likely complements her own…I don’t know you, but I saw the weird in you. The good kind. It’s awesome and has got to be the most honest form of existence.
[Strike 7. A) and 7. B) from the record as it’s none of my business, but as per the title, I did see it on Saturday.]
I hope you are tilted towards a great tomorrow by whatever makes you happy.
My grandpa would never say good bye before he hung up the phone. It made me laugh.
“Braden Gates walked out on stage and immediately grabbed the audience’s attention. Not an easy thing when you are opening for Blue Rodeo in a sold out Banff Amphitheatre show (1700 capacity) – solo, just him and his guitar. His wit, charm and ultimately – incredible songs won the hearts of everyone in attendance. I would have him back in a second! And he even won great praise from Greg Keelor who has seen his fair share of opening acts!”
— Allison Brock, Director of Presenting, Banff Centre
“...a mesmerizing and confident skill that quiets a room. Braden’s wit, charm, and ultimately incredible songs win the hearts of his audience.”
— Northern Lights Folk Club
“I was already impressed with the singer’s mature bent on Much Rather Be Sleeping (2017), but that extra boost of energy really makes Pictures of Us come alive with a spell that’s cinematic, even on the gentler, quieter songs. Start with the title track, a haunting, nostalgic memory of an old love affair that references wandering West Edmonton Mall to look for a photo booth.”
“Braden is what you hope to discover in the moments that make up a festival. His music is inviting, his authenticity wins you over. Braden takes care of his audience.”
— Anna Somerville, Blueberry Bluegrass Festival
“...and that is what all of us needed, to see someone trying. A reminder of our fragility, of the beauty of imperfection. His performance reminded me that there is solace in the break, that it is okay to not be okay, that the light is let in through the cracks ”
— Conway Jankowski
“Braden Gates writes songs that sound just like real life: weary and hopeful at the same time. His playing features a wistfulness that makes you wonder about the roads he's travelled mixed with a joy that is a pleasure to hear. Add in some fine guitar work and the occasional fiddle tune, and you’ve got yourself a show to remember.”
— Michelle Demers, Mission Folk Festival
“Braden Gates is one of those singer/songwriters that stops your drunken conversation and makes you say, “Who the fuck is that singing?” Subtle folk sensibilities mixed with an enigmatic storytelling charm, Gates’ authenticity stumbles through his music like your favourite drunk uncle.”
“the moment he walked on stage was no different than the guy backstage, soft spoken, witty, in the moment and most informative in that coy young guy kinda thang he has mastered.....his proficiency at his instrumentation is surpassed only by his brilliant observations of everyday living...ya...I'm a fan...a really tall fan”
— Longevity John, Duncan Showroom, 39 Days of July
“Edmonton's own Braden Gates is a folk singer through and through, and in the best possible sense of the word. His songs are full of stories that flow through him easily, and with all the grace, empathy and nuance that masterful story telling requires”
— Edmonton Folk Music Festival