There’s a really good reason why Burk’s Falls country singing sensation Pam Millar has decided to take the stage at the Algonquin Theatre this Saturday.
“There isn’t a bad seat in the house,” she says. “The sound is phenomenal and it’s an intimate setting.”
Millar is no stranger to the stage. Over the past two-and-a-half years she has performed all across Muskoka, but her upcoming show has got her really excited. She has teamed up with The Muskoka Connection, a band consisting of a handful of the area’s best musicians. With Port Sydney’s Mike Lopez on the bass, Huntsville’s Bo Zinck on rhythm guitar, Bracebridge’s Shon Roper on drums, and Burk’s Falls own Sean Cotton on lead guitar, Millar says she is honoured to be playing with such a talented group. Special guest Paul Lagendyk will open the show with songs from his debut album Shiny Rails To Nowhere.
I want people to enjoy themselves and to really come out and have some fun with me.
What’s always exciting for her, Millar says, is getting the chance to play a show for locals who have grown to love and support her and her music. She has more than 1,000 likes on her Facebook music page and says that blows her away.
“People from Muskoka appreciate local musicians,” she says. “They don’t expect covers. They appreciate you writing and playing your own songs. And I can’t wait for people to hear this new band backing me.”
There are some special highlights for people to look forward to in the show. Millar, who is certainly not a rapper, will leave her comfort zone for a few minutes to show the audience she can rap. Small Town Girl, an original tune from her first album, has been modernized with an added verse and a bit of Janis Joplin flair.
“There’s some little tidbits where we want to share what we’re doing and loving. We want people to walk away thinking that was the best show ever. It’s exciting because I haven’t been on a big stage for a long time and this is an opportunity to get back on the stage to do what I love to do. It’s exciting because I know it’s going be amazing.”
Small Town Girl and Country Rebel were Millar’s first two albums, and were a soulful blend of country, rock, easy-listening and blues. In her own unique country style, Millar paid tribute to one of her favourite artists of all time, Bruce Springsteen, with her 2015 album appropriately titled Echoes. The five cover tunes featured on the album were each chosen for their personal meaning to her.
“If I couldn’t relate to it [the Springsteen song]in some way, it didn’t get chosen,” she says. “Trust me. Cutting his repertoire down to five songs was a challenge.”
Her upcoming theatre performance will be Millar’s first time playing the songs from Echoes live. She will also be singing all of the original tunes from her first and second albums.
“This [show]is our interpretation of my music,” she says. “If the band and I are having fun, I think that will flow to the audience.”
Millar draws from personal experiences with her friends and family and everyday occurrences as inspiration for writing music.
Although she has been singing all of her life, she admits that even by the time she attended university it was never a goal of hers to do what she is doing now, musically speaking. Since releasing her first album to a sold-out show, things have continually grown from there.
“I have the ability to sing and now it’s a much bigger part of my life. It’s now a bigger part of who I am. And one of the joys of my life is performing. I don’t have to do it. I do it because I love it… any opportunity I get I’m going to do it.”
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on February 20. Tickets are $20 and are available online at www.algonquintheatre.ca or by calling the theatre’s box office at 705-789-4975.