On these pages, I'll attempt to take you back through my life as a singer-songwriter, beginning in London, Ontario with my discovery of Smale's Pace Coffee House during my lunch-hour break from Crown Trust, where I worked in the Mortgage department. I'd been thrown out of school in Grade 10 for 'being too emotional". Mercifully, I discovered Smale's Pace... I'll add more photos as I find them.
Above Photo: This is me circa 1974 at The Home County Folk Festival in London, Ontario, my home town. That's Jeannette Grittani behind me and behind her is Beverly-Glenn Copeland.
Below Photo: Again, Home County sitting behind Nancy Simmonds and Colleen Peterson
As a waitress and cook at Smale's Pace, I met so many musicians as they passed through. Willy P. Bennett became my friend and often the first person I'd see on my shift - perhaps asleep on the stage when I arrived, but waking up to the smell of coffee and fresh muffins... It was Luke Gibson who first invited me up onstage to play an opener once he heard that I learned one of his songs. I was terrified but I managed to sing it, my knees hitting the piano... I was hooked, despite my nerves. There was much to learn.
I've been a working musician since 1990 when I received a Canada Council grant to sustain me for three months while I tried (and succeeded) to write new songs. I'd been holding down three jobs in Halifax since releasing my first album, Laura Smith recorded by CBC in 1989 and that grant jettisoned me out of my day jobs and into my life as a touring musician -- I started getting calls from festivals thanks to airplay on CBC and college radio. You could find me most Monday nights at The Flamingo in Halifax on the open mic stage.
Above, I'm again at Home County in 2013. It was a triumphant return to my home town after releasing Everything Is Moving. Photo by David Woodhead - not only a gifted multi-instrumentalist who was playing bass with me on this gig, he always has a camera handy...
Portrait from the launch of Everything Is Moving at Hugh's Room
Along with my music, I started combining images (some of my drawings or photographs) with my poetry in Feb.2015 on a Facebook page called Dear Merebeth. We now have a website. Soon, D.M will have her own line of greeting cards and the like.