Alberta songstress Alex Vissia’s first Western Canadian Tour comes to Joe’s Garage in Courtenay this Friday.
Entrenched in the roots of rock and country but with a more sophisticated lyrical lean, Vissia will have you captivated by the time she sings her first sentence. Growing up just outside of Edmonton in a town called Stony Plain, Vissia began at the piano bench.
Eight years later at the age of 13, she had learned enough chords on guitar to write her first song. Vissia and her two younger sisters then started a folk-roots band, with Vissia leading the trio on vocals and guitar.
This young trio impressed everyone they played for, and Vissia started gaining experience from this exposure. Over their years together, the trio played at such prestigious events as Canadian Country Music Week (Gospel Showcase 2004), the Edmonton Folk Festival (2008) and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics (Alberta House showcase) and was even nominated at the Canadian Folk Music Awards — twice (Youth Performers of the Year 2006 and 2007).
These experiences cultivated Vissia’s creative growth, which eventually led her to Edmonton, to broaden her understanding of music. Her reflections on life expanded as well.
Just as her guitar helped bring the expression of music and poetry together in earlier years, she was now older, perhaps a bit wiser and had a lot more to say.
In the summer of 2011, Vissia graduated from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton with a diploma in Music Composition.
After nearly 10 years of writing songs and performing professionally, she has started a new chapter with the release of her highly anticipated first album as a solo artist, A Lot Less Gold.
Vissia’s writing has come a long way from the sweet, bluegrass-tinged sounds of her roots. She draws poetic inspiration from her favourite songwriters, such as Josh Ritter, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), John K. Samson (The Weakerthans) and Neko Case. Her vocal sound is reminiscent of the warmth of Brandi Carlile, combined with the sincerity of Serena Ryder’s fearless delivery. Backed by drums, bass and now playing an electric guitar, Vissia resonates onstage with an energy that genuinely comes from within.
Released Nov. 10, A Lot Less Gold promises to be an honest first effort deserving of attention. Catch Vissia live with her trio on her Western Canadian Tour this November and December.
Advance tickets are $10 and are available at Bop City Records.
The kitchen opens at 6:30 p.m. for the evening, with the show time set for an 8:30 p.m. start. For more information or to make dinner reservations, contact 250-702-MILO(6456).
— Joe’s Garage