Nanaimo's Tony Turner has been writing and performing songs for over twenty years. Getting his start in Ottawa's folk music scene Tony's thoughtful tunes reveal his love of history, landscapes and the precious moments of ordinary people. Tony's rich baritone voice, engaging stage presence and assured guitar playing deliver articulate ballads and toe-tapping roots-pop melodies. His musical range is captured beautifully in Love & Other Attractions, the latest of his three recordings, produced by Keith Glass (of Prairie Oyster).
Tony's early love of nature was fostered by a summer spent in Northern Ontario planting trees and learning about forest management. That love later inspired Tony to pursue studies and a career as an environmental scientist. Throughout this working period Tony channeled his love of history, people and landscape into his songwriting resulting in his first CD - A Matter of Time, produced by Ian Tamblyn.
"An impressive new voice recently emerged from the flourishing Ottawa folk scene. Tony Turner writes with the same convincing flair expected of Fred Eaglesmith, Garnet Rogers and Ian Tamblyn", wrote Roddy Campbell of Tony's first album. As Tony told Penguin Eggs folk magazine he must have lived on a farm or been a pioneer in another life."Rural settings and working people seem more real to me and help frame the human qualities I am trying to relate through song." says Turner. "The ways we fight against, tame and accept the natural world are much like our internal struggles with our own nature. It seems to be fertile territory to explore both kinds of landscape. I guess I'm just in love with nature. I'm a real Canadian."
The more introspective landscapes are explored in The Lost Sketches, produced by James Stephens. Themes of loss of love, home and direction are treated with such sensitivity that together they became “...a lovely collection of life-affirming songs delivered in a wonderful, rich baritone voice”, according to Les Semieniuk.
Tony's mid-life discovery of his songwriting ability came while he was committed to his science career and his family. He became a stalwart of the Ottawa folk scene organizing annual events such as The Great Canadian SongAlong and coordinating Writers' Bloc monthly songwriters meetings. He also worked with other folkies to create annual Christmas Goose concerts and associated compilation recordings. These and other activities helped solidify the Ottawa folk community and often raised money for charities.
Tony's much loved anthem “Circle of Song”, from his first record, became a choral standard among community choirs and liberal churches. It was recently published in Rise Again, the sequel to Rise Up Singing - the popular folk singer’s songbook. Near the end of his science career, Tony's catchy 2015 tune Harperman propelled him into the national spotlight for his courage and honesty and garnered the singer a Spirit of Folk award from Folk Alliance International.
Tony left his science career late in 2015 to focus his talents on creating and sharing more of the music he loves. With Love & Other Attractions, Tony provides listeners with an accessible mix of songs loosely based on interpretations of love ranging from love of each other to love of money, power and freedom. "Turner covers the range of associated emotions with aplomb, occasionally with zingers" wrote Mike Sadava in a Penguins Eggs review.
Audiences can expect a little of everything from this authentic, heartfelt performer whose songs are diverse as the country he loves. Check out "Love Me As I Am" , the second track from Love & Other Attractions and be sure to sign up to Tony's mailing list to find out when he'll be performing near you.