A man who was born and raised in Winnipeg, and who had many different jobs before realizing his life’s true ambition was to be a performer, wowed a small but appreciative Kamsack audience recently.
On February 22, award-winning artist Don Amero brought his intimate, down-home style and powerful vocals to delight around 30 concert-goers at the Kamsack Playhouse Theatre.
Accompanied by Dylan MacDonald of Toronto on guitar, and John Baron of Winnipeg on bass, Kamsack was the first stop for Amero on his Saskatchewan OSAC (Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils) tour. MacDonald had previously played in Kamsack in 2017 as a member of the group Middle Coast.
Introduced by Jack Koreluik, the chair of the Kamsack Arts Council which sponsored the event, Amero established immediate rapport with the audience when he strolled out on the stage and set the easygoing tone for the evening.
Saying he had decided to take up performing full-time 13 years ago, he said his path in music has been “a lot of fun,” and has allowed him to meet “incredible people.”
Amero is a singer with vocals that seem to fill the entire room with true, pitch-perfect resonance. Most of the songs he performs are his own original compositions, and he even alluded to the fact that in the past he had felt uneasy performing cover tunes.
His first song of the evening, Turn These Grey Skies Blue, was a song he wrote a few years ago with a message of deep longing and hope on the return of a sweetheart. The beauty of the ballad was not lost on the Kamsack crowd.
Amero easily shared stories with the audience, weaving a tapestry of his life story, about his wife and three children, his younger years, and the trials and tribulations of finding his way with his music.
Amero sings from the heart, from the very depth of his soul, with authentic emotion that surrounds him like a shroud during his performance.
Give it to You, Music Lover and Won’t Give Up were all beautiful ballads with deep meaning.
The three musicians shared a tight bond on stage, delivering flawless music to accompany Amero’s pitch-perfect vocals. Amero cautioned the audience before performing the tune Morning Coffee, adding it would be their first stage performance of that song before a live audience. He needn’t have worried: the delivery was smooth and enjoyable, very much like that morning coffee.
After intermission Amero performed a song which he explained he had been honoured to perform at the Canadian County Music Awards gala as an “In Memoriam” tribute to artists who had passed away. On Down the Road was the song, which he explained was significant in that it was able to put loss into perspective.
Amero has Cree and Metis roots melded with East Coast Acadian European roots. He grew up feeling caught up “in the middle,” but in his maturing years he felt the need to say that through his music his crusade is to be able to “help build bridges,” and he believes “our country is headed in the right direction.”
Amero covered Bruce Cockburn’s Lovers in a Dangerous Time, and Keith Urban’s Somebody like You, and closed the concert with Amazing Grace and I’ll Fly Away.