Harlock performing at Zo

On Feb. 28, Bob Harlock will present an evening of music and original songs at Zocalo Café.

"I have been writing songs for many years, but it wasn't until about three years ago when I joined the Comox Valley Song Circle that my guitar playing, music and songwriting started to become acceptable, not only to my ear but I hoped to others as well," Harlock says.

"My songs have been on occasion compared to John Prine and even to the storyteller Tom T. Hall. Being even loosely compared to John Prine, is the ultimate compliment; for Prine has been my singer and songwriting role model for over 40 years.

"Prine as well as another county singer, Hayes Carll, have a unique way of expressing themselves in verse that I try very hard to emulate in my own way. An example is when they sing a love song, it isn't really a love song, but a ballad with a collage of sometimes even humorous hidden meanings.

"I have tried with what I hope is some success to steer my songwriting in that direction, keeping my songs away from the heavy, sad relationship stereotype. I always try to inject a bit of humour in each song, with sort of a semi-firm rule of keeping the word love in my songs at a minimum.

"I suppose it could be summed up in a line from one of my songs which is, 'There are way too many love songs in that songbook store, so I don't put the word love in my love songs anymore.' Or a title from a loosely based relationship song which is, 'She's an all-day sucker that's stuck to my heart.'

"I suppose I class myself and my songwriting as sort of a folk-country style with finger style and strumming patterns that I hope are pleasing and easy listening to the ear."

Harlock performs Feb. 28 from from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

— Bob Harlock

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