She’s from the opposite side of the world, but Western Australia artist Toby Beard feels more at home in Canada than any other place she’s toured.
Described as ‘“energetic, raw and feisty” on stage, Beard, billed simply as Toby, is in the North Okanagan this week to perform a show at the Armstrong Inn, and returns the area later in August.
“I am totally in love with Canada, and am always excited when I get to go back,” said Toby, who is touring to promote her new album Sleeptalk and a DVD called Good Old Days.
“Each time I perform in Canada, the fan base slowly builds. I would be very, very happy to play there a whole lot more.”
Toby is touring with upright bass player Robin Murray from Perth, saxophonist Jeremy Trezona from Perth, and Winnipegger Ivan Burke on drums.
A Perth-born artist herself, Toby recorded her latest album in San Francisco, Calif., working with co-producer Carey Williams.
They met when Toby played alongside Etta James (managed by Carey) at a festival in Milwaukee in 2009.
This is Toby’s fourth full-length album and is the culmination of years of touring endlessly throughout Australia, four tours to Europe, eight tours to Canada and memorable performances in the U.S.
With European flavours, some gutsy blues, slow, chilled-out reggae and some soulful acoustic ballads, the album showcases Toby’s insightful, honest and poignant songwriting –– telling stories across emotions and continents, yet never losing track of its Australian roots.
Toby performs Tuesday at the Armstrong Inn (show starts at 8 p.m. and no cover will be charged) and a solo performance at Lorenzo’s Café in Ashton Creek, east of Enderby, Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. (Call 250-838-6700 for reservations.)