Building his career from the streets, one passer-by at a time, Martin Kerr has been able to make a living as an independent musician for the last 10 years. Kerr is no stranger to taking his guitar, along with his busk- ing amp, and setting up his CD store anywhere he could gather an audience. “To connect with people who left the house that morning not expecting to hear live music in the street, for a song to stop them in their tracks on their way get groceries or run to the bank, is a really special thing!” says Kerr. It has been these connections that have enabled him to build a fan base of loyal supporters who he refers to as more of a family.
Often compared to James Taylor and more recently Ed Sheeran (although that might have more to do with his ginger hair and charming English accent) Kerr’s storytelling is guaranteed to cover the whole spectrum of emotions. His powerful voice and intricate songwriting has earned him praise from the likes of Sarah McLachlan and Bruce Cockburn. “You have to make people laugh before you have a licence to make them cry. To see people experience such a range of feelings with me at my live shows is my favourite thing about being a musician. There’s something beautiful about sharing both happiness and sadness and then happiness again with a stranger” Kerr explains. “I always try to send people home with a happy heart”
With their support he has been able to achieve things usually out of reach for an independent musician – such as selling out 2 nights at the 1700-seat Winspear Centre, and landing his latest album in the Canadian top 10.
Kerr’s lighter side is something to look forward to in the music of his forthcoming ‘You’re Amazing ‘EP. The song ‘You’re Amazing’ has been the soundtrack to a summer packed with festivals and outdoor performances which has seen the audience enthusiastically join in chorus for the line “I’m not bad myself but you’re amazing.”
Martin Kerr plays the Rouge Folk Club Nov 10th. Tickets available online.