Jen Grant opens for Rob Sexsmith at Spiritbar this Tuesday.

Halifax songstress is Nelson bound

a good case could be made for Jenn Grant being awarded honourary Nelsonite status, even though she hasn’t been here yet.

“Do you know if there are any gluten-free places in Nelson?” asks a curious voice through a crackly telephone.

The voice belongs to Jenn Grant, the Halifax-based folk pop songstress who has been steadily wowing listeners and peers since her debut album, Orchestra for the Moon, first came out six years ago. Now, four studio LPs, a number of EPs, countless collaborations, and a side project or two later, Grant is finally coming through Nelson. And if a friendlier town for gluten-intolerance exists in Canada, then modern day cartographers haven’t mapped it yet.

In fact, a good case could be made for Grant being awarded honourary Nelsonite status, even though she hasn’t been here yet. There’s her fierce and fearless sense of communal music making — even while straying from the folk-pop sound that she’s made her signature — from her scene-stealing guest spots on a number of hip-hop artist’s Buck 65’s tracks, to her genre-bending electro-leaning collaborative project AquaAlta with producers Charles Austin and Graeme Campbell.

There’s also her aptitude for the visual arts: Grant is a holder of a BFA in painting. “It’s a luxury to be able to paint,” she says. “Painting is an exercise that strengthens you and makes your mind more open to creating music. It’s using a muscle that then triggers something, and you become more open to art.”

She also used the previous leg of her tour to showcase works by artist and printmaker Charley Young, who specializes in architectural monoprints of condemned urban facades. Though Young’s work is no longer touring with Grant, that doesn’t negate her artsy bonafides.

But Grant isn’t coming to Nelson alone. She has recently joined forces with Canadiana pop titan Ron Sexsmith to tour the country both promoting her latest record (last year’s sublime The Beautiful Wild) and trying out some new material. “To be honest, I kind of felt like the album cycle was short-lived for this record,” says Grant. “I feel it deserves a bit more time to get around the block.”

If her restless touring and creative schedule were interrupted, there’s good reason. “My mom passed away while were making it [The Beautiful Wild], as we were finishing recording. She loved the record and it’s really a tribute to her in some ways so I wanted to honour that.”

When asked if it was difficult to return to these songs, just over a year later, at the risk of bringing up heavy feelings, she doesn’t balk: “Oh yeah, definitely… but it’s been therapeutic. I didn’t know if I’d be able to, but it’s actually been a really beautiful thing. I’ve felt a deeper connection to the feelings that I had before. It’s been special.”

Jenn Grant and Ron Sexsmith will bring their distinct brands of thoughtful folk pop to Spiritbar this Tuesday, October 8.

And when informed that she wouldn’t be able to walk through downtown Nelson without bumping into something that was gluten free, Grant laughed: “I’m so happy. I want to go there now!”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New library to be built in downtown Kaslo

The building will cost $3 million

Nelson lacks enough supporting housing to meet homeless demand: report

The annual study shows permanent shelter is needed for people experiencing homelessness

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Nelson outdoor photo exhibit reflects physically distanced life

Portraits of a Pandemic runs until Oct. 15 at Lakeside Park

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read