STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
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After David Myles played the main stage Friday evening at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, he hung around for the weekend.
“I made lots of new fans and saw lots of great music,” he said, noting that Marty Stuart’s performance was his personal highlight.
Myles’ folk, country, ‘50s pop/R&B hybrid sound — peppered with Michael Buble and James Taylor vocal mannerisms — on his U.S. debut album “So Far” is actually a group of re-recorded songs from his nine Canadian albums. He shared that he recently finished a new record that will be released next fall.
So what took Myles and his trio so long to come south of the border? “Because I was so busy in Canada,” the Nova Scotian said, adding that he also tours Australia and the U.K. Another factor, he said, was booking enough shows in America to justify applying for a working visa.
“I love doing live shows; that’s how I built my reputation,” he said. “I love show business. I love the idea of putting on a show.”
Myles projects a distinctive image as he wears a suit on stage. “For me, it was about showing the audience that I care,” he said. Another influence in his style choice was his father, a public school teacher and musical theater director with an old-school, dress-to-impress ethic. “Where the suit comes from is the fact that I came from a strict household. My three brothers became doctors. I was going to go to law school, but then decided to write songs. Like most parents, they went: ‘What the heck are you talking about?’,” he said.
One of the 35-year-old singer’s song highlights is “When It Comes My Turn,” an open-eyed reflection on getting older.
“I’m gettin’ old, but I’m not old yet. I’m already worried that I might forget/how to laugh, how to love/how to live, how to learn.
I wanna die with a smile when it comes my turn,” he sings.
“I thought I was writing it for 25-year-olds. That song immediately resonated with my parents’ generation and people getting ready to retire,” Myles said.