Love to connect locals with their ‘inner songwriter’

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Minden’s Jim Love said his life would have been a slog had it not been for music – now, he’s hoping to open the community’s eyes to the wonders of song writing through a new workshop offered in partnership with SIRCH. 

Love will be at the Bistro on Mountain Street March 11 for a two-hour session that he says will focus on discovering people’s inner song. 

“Everybody can write a song. Some people can make something sing right away, other people work at it, and then other people make it go clunk – but it doesn’t matter, it’s something everybody can do,” Love said. “My aim is to demystify song writing and encourage people to enjoy that expression of themselves.”

For Love, music was his escape from a rough upbringing. Describing his childhood as “practically a country western song,” the musician says his life changed after hearing American jazz rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears on the radio in the late 1960s. He was 13. 

“It transformed me. From that point, I knew I wanted to be just like them,” Love said. 

He saved up to buy a guitar and spent all his spare time learning, jamming, and writing. He finished his first song Box Nothing, Trans Canada Highway when he was 14, and has written more than 1,000 more in the years since. He received a JUNO Award nomination for his work with Sphere Clown Band in the 1970s and has branched out to write musicals – with one being watched by Queen Elizabeth during the Royals’ visit of Canada for the sesquicentennial celebrations in 2017.

He’s been offering musical workshops around the country for decades but noted this offering in Haliburton is special for him. 

“It’s always different when you do things at home, in your own backyard. Consciously or not, you do put a lot more into it,” he said. “And the timing of this, coming out of COVID where we’ve all been locked indoors for years, is great. It’s been a lonely period for a lot of people… I’m looking forward to having a safe space where people can get together, share a piece of themselves and, more importantly, have some fun.”

For the would-be songwriter, Love said he had two pieces of advice.

“First, you must be an excellent listener. If you want to be a lyricist, you need to listen to the rhythm of speech and learn to enjoy it. Read often, and out loud, too,” Love said. “It took me a long time to discover this, but for song writing, rhythm is more important than the actual music… eventually, all your songs start to sound the same. How you break out of that is rhythm. So, make rhythm, and mastering it, your best friend.”

The workshop will run from 2 to 4 p.m. and is free. To RSVP, call 705-457-1742 or email info@sirch.on.ca.