Anne Waters performs for the folkies in Sooke on November 16.

A voice to listen to: Anne Waters

Folk singer sings about her life experiences at Sooke Coffee House

Well it’s time once again for the Sooke Folk Music Society’s monthly Coffee House gathering. On November 16 we are pleased to be featuring singer/songwriter Anne Waters.

Born in Denver Colorado, Anne says that a college level French class opened the doors to a new life in Canada and later, a stint as a performer in Holland. Her love of acoustic guitar began at an early age during summers spent with family at Grand Lake, Colorado, a resort in the Rockies. At the age of 13, she  heard guitar veterans like Johnny Winter and Stephen Stills playing long instrumental solos around the fire in the lodge.

“I just made a vow to myself that I wanted to someday to be able to play for hours on end and not repeat the same melody.”

Anne spent the rest of her teens learning and perfecting her guitar playing and picked up that all-important French class that would be her ticket out of a local music scene that she found uninspiring.

“I got really tired of playing the bars,” she said. “I heard about this coffee house scene in Vancouver.”

In 1970, on her 20th birthday, she began a new life in Vancouver, finding an instant niche as the only woman playing on the city’s coffee house circuit.

After a stint in Holland, Anne returned to British Columbia, but this time to the interior to build a cabin and raise a family. In 1988, she became a teacher, using her music to help teach everything from verb conjugation to multiplication tables.

“No matter what you do in other parts of your life, it always serves to further your music,” she said.

Among the experiences that have shaped Anne’s music were the tragic deaths of two of her four children during infancy, events that she said profoundly altered her identity.

“That changes your sense of time,” she said. “That changes your sense of everything.”

After retirement in 2005, she moved to the city to work as a street performer. After being told by all of her fellow buskers that she needed to have a CD in order to make money playing on the streets, she went to Mazatlan, Mexico, and locked herself in a room to create her solo album, The Voice I Listen To.

“Music goes from the heart of the singer to the soul of the listener,” she said. Since cutting her CD she has been travelling and playing wherever she can, at open mic events and even a hardware store, having many adventures along the way.

Most recently Anne was invited by the Jazz Guru in Quebec City to play at the Quebec City Jazz Festival for two years.

“Instead of playing at one of the many venues, I played for the musicians who had come from around the world to play those venues. They came to his resto-bistro for their noon meal and I performed for a packed house for 2-3 hours.”

Please join us this Saturday, November 16 for an evening of unpredictable musical delight with Anne Waters.

The place is Holy Trinity Anglican Church at 1963 Murray Road in Sooke.

Doors open at 7 p.m. with open stage at 7:30 and our feature at 9.

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