When most of us think of traditional folk music, the classic singer-songwriter is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Clearly, the palette of folk and roots music is a broad one, but when you boil it down to its essence — beautiful songs built on strong, lyrical stories — there are few artists who better personify that folk tradition in 2017 than Toronto’s Donovan Woods.
Woods weaves magic out of the most minimal of ingredients, delivering poignant, whispery vocals over spare guitar work to create haunting melodies and memorable musical vignettes. Woods’s reputation as a stellar songwriter is solid — his compositions enjoy vibrant lives beyond his own guitar and microphone and have been recorded by a bevy of artists, ranging from indie up-and-comers to bona fide stars like Tim McGraw, Charles Kelly, and Alan Doyle, and have also been featured in a number of television shows and major motion pictures. Still, there is no substitute for hearing the songs come from the man himself and hearing familiar songs from an artist with an intimate connection to them is a real treat.