Troubadours are few and far BETWEEN.
Tom Hanks was in a movie somewhat recently called News of the World. He played Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a former confederate officer making a meager living traveling from town to town in Texas and reading newspaper stories to local residents. If this film was based on the life of a musician; Hanks would be Chris DeBurgh.
DeBurgh was in Montreal last night at Place Des Arts. Along with a group of other ‘newspaper’ readers, Chris delivered tales from lands (and worlds) far away. DeBurgh is a minstrel of sorts – a travelling troubadour. Whisking audiences into scenarios and stories normally witnessed in cinemas in recent decades.
Spacemen, Robin Hood, the Devil and The Lord were all playing chess last night. The ‘Hands of Man’ were mere witnesses to the spectacle at hand and DeBurgh’s own hands created it all. Despite being in his mid – seventies, vocally DeBurgh is seated in a theater watching the world premiere of Jaws. Travelling to so many places physically and through imagination is a potion. An elixir to youth. A gateway to a pair of sold out shows in Montreal and the rest of Canada.
Thanks to guys like Terry Dimonte and the staff at CHOM ( Dimonte was selected by DeBurgh for introductions both nights in Montreal) – Chris DeBurgh became a huge star in Quebec ‘avant’ any place on this planet. Quebec (to this day) loves their artistic types. The Bohemians who seek and find, who love and lose. Yes, Genesis, Supertramp and DeBurgh – the starvelings who conquered Quebec and continue to maintain residences in the hearts of the English and the French.The souls of the dead, the souls of the living.
Lady in Red was played. The song that sent DeBurgh into ‘spacemen territory’ commercially. Everything changed for DeBurgh from that point forward to a bevy of people in North America. Two camps were created and both as far apart as British Columbia and Newfoundland. The artistic types were horrified and the evening gowns at a dinner date were delighted. Passing music fans only wanted the ‘plastic’ the ‘video age’ DeBurgh. The creative community shunned MTV. Twenty or more years ago – DeBurgh returned to his troubadour roots. His popularity (and airplay) disappeared in America and soared in the rest of the world. Graciously for DeBurgh – Quebec seemingly belongs to none. La Belle Province has never abandoned DeBurgh, his sensibilities or their own. After all, Quebecers love poutines and Cheesburgers don’t they?
Playing the guitar and the piano and backed by a first rate band – Deburgh at ease during last night’s tales. The troubadour at home, spiritually, physically and emotionally. His love of what he does and who he does it for – as apparent as the Bible and the Codex Gigas. DeBurgh just may be the last remaining troubadour. If not – there are few and far between. Thankfully or else DeBurgh’s genius would be lost among the souls of the digital age. Just another Tom Hanks film ‘ doing it’s best’.
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