Every musician has a place they would love to perform in. For Sooke’s Adam Dobres, that place was Royal Albert Hall in London. The Royal Albert, built in 1871 has seen kings, queens, rock stars and classical musicians grace its stage. From the Beatles to Elton John, Verdi to Wagner, anyone who is anyone has shone under the lights on the venerable old stage.
Performing on the stage of the Royal Albert is a career highlight for Sooke’s Adam Dobres. It may well be the largest stage with the largest audience he has played to.
“The population of Sooke was in there,” he said.
Dobres was performing with Ruth Moody (from the Wailin’ Jennys) opening for Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits). Moody had been asked to sing on Knopfler’s new album and a relationship developed. Knopfler knew of the Wailin’ Jennys and the rest, as they say, is history.
“It was such an amazing experience being there,” said Dobres, at home for a brief stint in Sooke. “We did our own thing for 45 minutes as openers.”
He said he could feel the energy of all those people who had performed at the Royal Albert. It was a favourite venue for the the world’s best and Dobres said, just walking out on the stage was unbelievable.
“It was something so special,” he said.
They performed for six nights at the Royal Albert.
Dobres performs on Ruth Moody’s new solo CD compilation, “These Wilder Things.”
“It was so nice to play our music and have the hall fill with responsive people. On our own tour we’d have 100 people. We hope to go back in a couple of months.”
Dobres is an truly accomplished guitarist who has performed with the likes of Toni Childs, Daniel Lapp Outlaw Social, Kendel Carson (who performed recently with Elvis Costello), Dustin Bentall and scores of others during his career.
The tour with Mark Knopfler was an eye-opener for a kid from Sooke. The kicker was the way Knopfler toured — with three semi-trucks full of equipment, four tour buses and a private jet. After each performance he would meet up with other guitarists and talk music, guitars and instruments. He was sad to see it end.
There is a lot more in the stars for Dobres. He has always played with other people and is now dreaming up his own thing by writing music. He recently got married and is going along with what is on his path and the momentum of Ruth Moody.
“Sometimes it’s hard and difficult, like having three marriages at the same time,” he quipped.
But musicians play on and he is set to perform with Daniel Lapp and Adrian Dolan at the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival. That pairing is not new, they performed in Cape Breton opening for the Chieftans, their first gig as a trio.