April 2006

Listen to some samples

Fortify Me


So Tired

The David Wall Band | The Spell I Was Under
Presented by Richard Flohil
April 19, 2006The RivoliToronto
Bring on the Bread
by Sue Bullas with photos by Roger Humbert
The first time I saw David Wall he was playing with the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band at Harbourfront Centre. I’d never seen anything quite like it. Well he did it again last night. I was aware of his musical talent and I knew he could go any musical direction. Gospel and blues was a great choice. The David Wall band (consisting of some of Toronto’s finest talents) put on an incredible evening of entertainment, jokes and jibes, and Wall displaying a post-Passover fascination with bread products of any kind.

The David Wall Band included: Ken Whiteley (guitar and vocals), Rebecca Campbell (vocals), Pat Patrick (bass vocals), Victor Bateman (bass), Marilyn Lerner (keyboards) and Daniel Barnes (drums). Guest musicians included Carlos del Junco (harmonica), David Buchbinder (trumpet) and Chris Miller (guitar). Quality all around and lucky for us — as Wall himself put it “getting this group together is like having a solar eclipse”.

The diversity of talents and the range of voices offered a rich and encompassing sound that could have filled any venue, large or small. The Rivoli’s smaller setting offered an intimate and warm environment for all comers, many of whom were friends and family. Wall dedicated many of the songs to members of the audience who have given him loving support.

Most of the songs were written by David Wall and the lyrics are beautiful, but we didn’t always have time to revel in their meaning because we were too distracted by the music itself. The lyrical meanings are open to individual interpretation. “Fortify me" could be about God or cereal joked Wall. Then there was "All about the Water" which Wall’s friend Michael described as ‘odd’ but that song stood out for me. "Have no Fear" (the only lullaby ever to have two accordions and a trumpet) was incredible. "Wonder" and "Yonder Come Day" also stood out. Then David wished for cinnamon bread from a bakery I can’t recall the name of…

Squinting into the lights and explaining his inspirations for songs, David Wall has a great personality but doesn’t always seem comfortable at the front of the stage. I can’t imagine why. What a pleasure also to witness Wall and Whiteley’s joking repartee, from discussing the ‘5 Blind Boys of Alabama’ to broken guitar strings. It wasn’t until I had researched further that I realized Whiteley is Wall’s mentor. The singing was brilliant, making me wish the musicians would stop playing their instruments so we could enjoy the purity of the human instrument. To that end, David did sing a fun Yiddish lullaby on his own.

David Wall

David Wall & Ken Whiteley
We welcome your comments and feedback
Sue Bullas
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Roger Humbert
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The Live Music Report

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