Flying solo

Ottawa singer-songwriter Jon Creeden likes practicality of being unaccompanied

What are the odds of a larger set, gruff-voiced bearded dude releasing an album called Beards?

Pretty good, seeing as that’s exactly what acoustic punk singer/songwriter – and beard owner – Jon Creeden did.

The CD version of Beards! has been out for over a year, but recently the Ottawa-based musician re-recorded it in a studio (as opposed to his friend’s living room where he recorded the original) and released it on vinyl through Quebec label Pavones Records (Quebec) and Guelph, Ontario Imprint My Finger! My Brain!

Creeden says the idea for an acoustic solo project arose in 2007 for reasons of sheer convenience.

“I was living in an apartment. Playing acoustic guitar seemed more of an option than rocking out on my amp,” Creeden says. “Also, I didn’t know anyone to play in a band with in Ottawa at first, so it just kind of started that way."

“I tried to tour in 2008 on a summer vacation. I bought a Greyhound pass and I was able to take my guitar with me, so I made it into a tour and I just realized it’s an easy way to do this when it’s convenient. I don’t have to get four different people’s schedulestogether.”

Creeden is on the road again with a stop planned in Winnipeg at Le Garage on September 23. He’s no stranger to our fair city.

“I’ve played Winnipeg probably as much as anywhere,” Creeden says. “Years ago, I met High Five Drive when they were coming through Ottawa, so we played some shows together.

“Then Greg Rekus, who was the singer in High Five Drive, we’ve done tons of tours together since he started his solo acoustic thing and it’s been really awesome. Knowing Greg has kind of made Winnipeg one of my second homes. I’ve never had a bad time in Winnipeg.”

Speaking of good times, Creeden says one of the best parts of his current tour was seeing/hearing his growing Quebec City fan base singing along to his songs. But, the real highlight was his last hometown gig.

“We played a living room show in Ottawa at my buddy’s, [a place called] Robot House,” Creeden says. “When I showed up there, one of my buddies had tattooed the [album] artwork on his thigh. Having somebody tattoo something to do with your music on themselves, that’s a pretty big compliment.”

Published in Volume 68, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 18, 2013)

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