Mikol, MacDonald, Wempe trio at Glasgow Square

Arts & Entertainment Community

Good things come in threes. Singer/songwriters included.
In this case, the trio is Norma MacDonald, Carmel Mikol and Kim Wempe who will be performing an intimate show in the Glasgow Square Green Room on September 8 at 7:30 p.m.
For Mikol, who has spent the better part of her recent history in Gabrielle Papillon’s touring band, the show is a chance to step back into the spotlight and reconnect with the audience, in addition to singing with longtime friends Wempe and MacDonald.
“It’s a completely different skill set, you know?” said Mikol of playing a supporting role rather than fronting a project.
“I really love playing in other people’s bands. I kind of get to just have fun, you know, just show up and play music and not get too worried about the business side of it or hung up on logistics. And that’s a really nice break for me because it allows me to just focus on being a musician and also improving my skills because I’m learning someone else’s music.”
She continued, “I think it’s really healthy to separate the two things really. When I play in Gabrielle’s band I’m not Carmel Mikol, I’m serving her music. I try to go fully into whatever mode I’m supposed to be in.”
For now, Mikol has switched back into singer-songwriter mode and she welcomes the change in function.
“Performing my own music is what I’ve done since I was a child,” she said. “It feels like home to me. It’s more of a full, fulfilling sort of feeling where I’m talking to the audience, I’m communicating, we’re connecting and that’s the important part for me, always.”
Fittingly, perhaps, Mikol has spent time in Wempe’s band in addition to co-touring and has also spent time as a backup singer to MacDonald.
“This is a really nice way to do it actually,” Mikol said, “because we’re so used to playing with each other but we get to play our own songs. It’s s very collaborative show, all three of us are on stage at the same time and we play on each other’s songs. It’s like a trio but we each get to play our own songs. It’s a wonderful compromise.”
Mikol said she enjoys the level of dedication Wempe brings to the table.
“She’s just so full of life,” Mikol said, “she’s so full of energy. She never gives up on anything, she’s 100 per cent committed. I never get sick of playing with Kim. We’re just so comfortable singing with each other.”
MacDonald is a little harder to pin down. “Her songs sneak up on you,” Mikol said. “They’re sneaky good. She’s got the most incredible, timeless, classic country voice and I love singing with her. Matching her tone is really fun and challenging. She also is just goddamn hilarious. I really admire Norma as a singer and a songwriter.”
Mikol’s return to singer-songwriter duties will see the release of her third album, Daughter of a Working Man, due (perhaps) later this fall. The album was produced by Jon Landry of the Stanfields, of whom Mikol called “the perfect collaborator.”
The “new” album has actually been complete for over a year, and was recorded over a year and half period. Mikol referred to the process as “the longest I’ve ever taken to do something.
“I just haven’t actually had time to put it out,” Mikol said. “I am slowly getting there, I’m looking at putting it out in late fall. I have a lot of stuff ready that I haven’t been able to put out into the world. It’s kind of a funny feeling, it kind of feels like you’re hiding something in a little safe somewhere like it’s a little treasure.”
Mikol said she will be performing songs from the as-of-yet unreleased album as well as songs not yet recorded – meaning not only is she playing new songs but newer-than-new songs.
For info on the September 8 show contact Glasgow Square.

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