Guitar, soul and a message mark music’s return to S. Walter Stewart

Brother Neil made his East York debut at the library as part of Culture Days

It’s been a few months since S. Walter Stewart Library has hosted a concert, and the return of music featured not just a soulful voice and guitar melodies, but also a heartfelt message.

Singer-songwriter Neil Parent, known by the stage name Brother Neil, performed as part of Culture Days, a celebration of the province’s diverse arts and culture community that took place Sept. 28-30.

While Parent played songs from his latest album, Away Avenue Away, released last year, he also had a suggestion for East Yorkers. “I think everybody should spend some time in nature,” he said. “If you can get out there, experience time away from the massive cluster of people.”

That sentiment comes up on the album’s title track, which includes a line about “A wide-opened sky where stars shine right above.” Parent made the album hoping to motivate people to travel to the countryside and enjoy Mother Nature with loved ones.

When he was young, he explained, his family moved many times between countries and cities. Now that he’s no longer living in the countryside, he longs to go back.

Despite how peaceful Easy York is, residents should still find a chance to go somewhere else for relaxation, Parent said.

Brother Neil  holding a copy of his latest album, Away Avenue Away(Tiffany Fung/TORONTO OBSERVER)

He called his Culture Days invitation an honour. “They wanted me to be a part of something,” he said, describing his experience — the first time he has played in East York — as great and beautiful.

Asked if he will perform at East York again, he said, “Absolutely.”

The next Brother Neil album is scheduled for January.

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Posted: Oct 2 2018 1:00 pm
Filed under: News