Published Apr 26, 2015Beyond his fingers flying across a fretboard, Doug Paisley is a no-frills dude on stage. It takes a certain level of confidence and conviction for a performer to rely primarily on their voice and guitar to get songs across without silly shenanigans. Paisley is totally of that ilk, his banter witty yet minimal and understated while his music is boldly direct.
"I was driving around in the fog today," he told the audience of his first time ever exploring St. John's. "I probably saw some interesting things." This followed a poignant version of "No One But You," defused of its pop dynamics to become something more stern and sombre.
Paisley can be singing plaintive verses that lull you in and then suddenly he's turning a chord progression into a wild, dizzying guitar solo. He did drop his guard for a poetic and ultimately hilarious story about his connection to a maybe dead bat that bookended a lovely version of "Bats."
Paisley enthralled those gathered in the Rocket Room with his husky baritone and dark-hued narrative songs. We like to call him one of Canada's greatest songwriters because it's just plain true.