Skip to content

Tanner James brings intimate show to Airdrie

Singer and songwriter Tanner James will bring his brand of storytelling to the Bert Church LIVE Theatre (BCLT) Dec. 7 for an intimate show as part of the theatre’s new Lobby series.
Modern troubador
Audiences can expect an intimate evening of songs and storytelling Dec. 7, when singer-songwriter Tanner James kicks off Bert Church LIVE Theatre’s new Lobby series.

Singer and songwriter Tanner James will bring his brand of storytelling to the Bert Church LIVE Theatre (BCLT) Dec. 7 for an intimate show as part of the theatre’s new Lobby series. BCLT’s Lobby series provides a more intimate experience for the audience, with the performance hosted in the smaller lobby space, rather than in the theatre – creating an environment where music lovers can get up close and personal with a performer who strives to offer a "compelling" live show complete with culture and comedy. “I play contemporary folk music, with a little bit of a dabble into indie country and stuff like that, but I like to tell stories, as well,” James said. “I think a component of my live show is telling relevant stories that relate to the songs in a cultural situation – what I do and where I go and the people I meet. Some of my songs can take up to 10 minutes, when you include the story behind the song." While his musical background may seem somewhat unexpected, given his current folk style, James said his diverse experiences have made him a better performer and songwriter. “I grew up playing in really bad punk-rock bands when I was in high school. It was a pretty accessible way to get in [to the music scene],” he said. “It was a pretty do-it-yourself ethos – there was nothing holding you back. You didn’t have to be good. You had to have a work ethic and you had to have heart.” James, 33, who grew up on a farm near Taber, Alta., said he also learned the value of hard work from working with his family on their land. In terms of influences, James said he is drawn to Canadian singer/songwriters, including Ottawa-based Jeremy Fisher and Alberta’s Corb Lund – who, according to James, have helped make telling Canadian stories more widely acceptable to audiences. “I’m proud of what Canada puts out in the singer/songwriter vein,” he said. “I was a huge Stuart McLean fan. He kind of helped carry that sense of pride – it is enough to tell our [Canadian] stories; you don’t have to make other stories up that you don’t feel connected to.” His songs – and his stories – are about issues relevant to today, he added. “I’m an avid reader. I draw a lot of inspiration from what I read, as well,” he said. “I have a library card and I constantly have holds on it.” James will play two 45-minute sets at the Bert Church LIVE Theatre Dec. 7, starting at 7 p.m. Only 70 tickets are available for the intimate show and can be purchased at the theatre’s box office or online at bertchurchlivetheatre.ticketpro.ca