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Classic folk singers and musicians influence Mowbray

Paul Mowbray performs for the Sooke Folk Music Society on June 16. - Submitted
Paul Mowbray performs for the Sooke Folk Music Society on June 16.
— image credit: Submitted

Well, we are coming to the end of the season for the Sooke Folk Music Society’s musical events with one more coffee house evening and one more concert. For our final coffee house night, we are presenting singer/songwriter, Paul Mowbray on Saturday, June 16.

Paul Mowbray is a songwriter, a composer of guitar music, a recording artist, and a performing musician who lives in Victoria. He performs in clubs, bistros, and concert situations, always with the goal of reaching and satisfying his audience. He has written swing songs and ballads for other artists. When he writes for his own performance he tends toward the lyric driven music of performers like Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. He does, though, love pop rhythm and melody. Joni Mitchell and Dave Matthews are also strong influences.

He is drawn to good guitar playing, strong melody and meaningful lyrics.

His finger style guitar is influenced by Mark Knopfler, Bruce Cockburn, and Luis Bonfa. Both those lists go on! Check out the listen page on this website, www.paulmowbray.com, or better yet come out to his performance this Saturday evening!

Mowbray also performs in a world jazz duo, “Mowbray and Wall,” with saxophonist Mike Wall. Their CD The Wave Project was released in 2000. He also teaches music at South Island Studios in Victoria and leads regular guitar and songwriting workshops.

Mowbray was artistic director of the Salt Spring Island Jazz Festival in 2010, is a former board member of the Salt Spring Folk Club, and co-ordinates the Victoria Regional Writer’s Group on behalf of the Songwriters’ Association of Canada. Mowbray has a B.A. with music major, which increases his credibility in some circles while decreasing it in others. Personally he thinks he did learn some beneficial stuff at school.

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Mowbray is an eclectic songwriter and composer, and a gifted guitarist. After studying music in Saskatoon, teaching in alternate schools, and working in a long term care facility for schizophrenics in Vancouver, Mowbray moved to Salt Spring Island to undertake a year of composition and study. Taking the time to get it right, he launched his solo recording and performance career with a gorgeous instrumental disc entitled Prairie Stop in 2005.

Years of teaching guitar resulted in an intimate understanding of what the instrument is capable of, while his prairie roots shine through in this atmospheric suite for solo guitar. For students of the guitar he included full tablature of the music in PDF files on the CD.

Paul currently performs solo and with violinist Tracy Mills in the Mowbray Mills Band, a folk rock band described as a “snowball fight between Dave Matthews and Vivaldi.” Along with Tracy Mills, he has produced and written the music for two CD’s: Game (2007) and Set (2012)

Mowbray and Mills can be heard in Victoria three or four times every month. Watch for them at the Heron Rock Bistro and other fine establishments.

As mentioned earlier, we also have one more concert coming up on June 30 with Paul O’Brian. O’Brian has visited us before and gave an incredible performance. This time however, he is bringing his family along to join him. We have it on good authority that this show is fantastic and not to be missed.

Please join us this Saturday, June 16 for our final coffee house. It happens at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Murray Road. Doors open at 7 p.m. with open stage at 7:30 and our feature at hitting the stage at 9.

Contributed by Dave Gallant

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