Roots and Soul hosted Words & Chords, a collaboration of Fredericton poets, musicians, and artists at the Capital Complex on Jan. 17.
The warm and inviting atmosphere of the Capital Complex was in full display the night of Words & Chords, as friends came together both to perform and enjoy the art present in the city.
The evening’s line up included music from the Falling Leaves, the Delirious Monks, the Fundy Drifters, Neil Morash and Hannah Zamora, poetry from Sarah Cooper (Earthtone Lesbian) and the host Musings by Maisie.
A live painting done by Midas Well Creations occupied a corner of the room so guests could watch their progress as they circulated.
The performers all seemed to know each other well, one introducing the other as their roommate or close friend, and telling stories of the group about to perform. This lended a familiar tone to the evening, inviting everyone in the room to relax and be comfortable in their surroundings.
The crowd danced, sang along and talked under the music, carrying out conversations which sometimes included the performers. Friends in the audience openly talked with those on stage, even interrupting the performance to ask about the inspiration behind a song or to tell an inside joke.
The poetry and music of the evening carried political themes, with artists discussing topics of justice, feminism and equality. Reference was made to powerful corporations in the province and to the current political climate.
“Now I’m going to read you some angry feminist poetry,” Sarah Cooper said, introducing her work.
The tone of the evening shifted with each performer, varying from acoustic music telling stories of personal struggle to acapella renditions of popular songs.
“It feels like an open mic night, but with a little more structure,” said one member of the crowd. “I love it.”
Hannah Zamora was a particularly unique performer who, accompanied by her ukelele, instructed the entire audience to make sounds of the ocean as she ended her set.
Another notable musician was Neil Morash, who harmonized with himself through a loop pedal.
“I don’t really know what is going to happen, so have fun,” Morash joked. “All of my songs lack a name, any direction, and an ending, really.”
The event’s host, Maisie McNaughton, commented on the packed Capital floor, thanking the large crowd for coming out on a cold Thursday night.