By David F. Rooney
Victoria Banks, the Canadian Country Music Awards 2010 Female Artist of the Year, will be playing in Revelstoke for one night only at the Amble Inn on November 3.
“I’ve done the big arenas with thousands of people but there isn’t the intimacy you can get in a smaller venue,” the singer-songwriter said in an interview this week.
“I’ve been looking at everything I can find about Revelstoke and it looks like a beautiful place. I’m looking forward to this.”
And so, doubtless, will be local music lovers.
Banks began writing music as a young girl and, despite a gap while she was in high school, has been writing steadily every since.
“I wrote my first song when I was in Grade Six,” the Muskoka, Ont., native said. “It was a broken-hearted song called Railway of Love. It was very maudlin.”
Maudlin or not (and Banks says she never performed it for anyone), the experience touched something within her and while studying zoology at the University of Toronto she began writing songs again on everything from scraps of paper to “my calculus notes.”
Having a BSc in zoology didn’t prove to be quite what she had in mind and in 1997 she decided to pursue a career as a songwriter. She moved to Nashville, the mecca of country music, and worked hard at her art. Who says good things don’t happen to nice people?
Her hard work and effort paid off as her songs were picked up and played by people such Doc Walker, Jessica Simpson, Lisa Brokop and a host of other country music greats and near-greats. They weren’t just good songs, either. Many of them topped the charts and won major awards.
Then, Banks decided she needed something more.
“It was during a time when I was going through a divorce,” she said. “At the time I had really isolated myself. I wanted to be more social and do more things on my own.”
She she began playing her own songs in small venues and, while recording her own independent CD, When You Can Fly, (OnRamp/EMI Music) she… was discovered.
It has been a heck of a ride for Banks who continues to write her own music at a prodigious pace — a song a day at times.
“There’s an endless source of songs,” she said. “I just feel as though I am tapping into something around us. I think that’s a necessary way way to think about it. If your lifestyle depends on being a creative person you can’t live in constant anxiety and agitation worrying about whether you can produce or not. You just let it come. I can be more creative if I treat the process with respect.”
With respect, Victoria Banks’ concert at the Amble Inn should be a real treat for music lovers. Her concert is on November 3 at 7:30 pm. To reserve a seat please call 250-837-4665. There is a suggested donation of $20 per person.
You can hear some of her songs, see photos from past performances and read her biography a www.victoriabanks.net.