Songwriters Circle

We had a great time at the Circle. We will be doing this again. Stay tuned for updates here.

Bio for April’s Songwriters

AlexHickey-promo-crop-300x300ALEX HICKEY

 

Alex has been singing all her life and writing songs
since she was 18-years-old. Inspired by experiences and observations—of life and love, work and play—she has recorded three solo CDs. Love Bites (yes, a purposeful play on her last name and an excellent reflection of her sense of humour) is inarguably a break-up album, painted with a good dose of angst and heartache but executed with
wit and maturity. Two years later (2010) another break-up album, The Day the Money Run Out, marked the end of a different relationship; this time it was a city not a person being left in her dust. Alex’s desire to return to Nova Scotia and leave the urban lifestyle had been literally put on the record. Alex’s third CD, Blackbirds, is a celebration of that return, a rollicking, fun collection of songs, mostly set in rural Nova Scotia.

Alex’s artistic bent is to be expected. Her mother,
Jan Barkhouse, is a poet, while her grandmother, Joyce Barkhouse, was renowned as the author of Pit Pony. Alex’s transition into the Nova Scotian performance community happened quickly. Recent shows include a Little River Folk song circle, and solo shows at Lunenburg’s Rum Runner restaurant and The Rose & Kettle Folk Club in Dartmouth. In addition to her appearance at the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival in 2011 and the LaHave Folk Festival in 2012, Alex has booked shows across Nova Scotia and made annual tours to Ontario.

Alex particularly enjoys performing at events
and venues promoting activism in the areas of environmentalism and human rights. Her writing consistently reflects her passions. Her song “You Can’t Be Rich (on Shattered Land)” highlights the practice of hydraulic ‘fracking,’ a method of extracting natural gas that raises serious health concerns for close-by residents. In “Two TVs” she parallels the struggles of women past and present with a personal relationship revelation. “Buy More Buddhas” pokes fun at the practice of finding spirituality
at the cash register. While the topics can be serious, Alex doesn’t get bogged down in maudlin thoughts, throwing in a good measure of levity and love. Always thoughtful and relevant, Alex Hickey is a genuine performer who weaves tales that engage her audience and turn listeners into fans.

Alex receives regular radio airplay and has been featured on CBC Radio’s Atlantic Airwaves and Rogers TV’s Daytime Toronto. Her live shows run the gamut from signature house concerts to benefit shows and outdoor festivals. The stage is Alex’s natural habitat—she shines with energy and authenticity.

“Alex Hickey is one of those rare performers who doesn’t feel the need to separate herself from the audience. Seeing her perform live is a completely engaging experience.”

—Sarah Hopen, Curator Starry Nights Concert Series

Photo credit: Karen Runge

 

stephen hicksSTEVE DICKS

Steve was born n raised here on the south shore of Nova Scotia . He was cut from pure Newfoundland stock on both sides. But grew up running the back woods here in Nova Scotia. Music to him is , an expression , it is history , it is a way to convene a message you want people to hear , a way to show love to Someone special , a way to unite people to one common bond , pay tribute to someone or something . Steve believes music can build personal strength , character , and can heal the mind and body . It is his belief that when a song is sung the person projecting it releases that song into the universe where it remains forevermore . He believes we are not in control in choosing what we take interest in and listen to but our soul is responsible for connecting and drawing in the music in to us . He never had a musical bone in his body until just a few short years ago , for Steve performing music is a journey , and he is just along for the ride …..

 

facetile_1c01 I was born in Halifax in the 70’s and from a very early age I began singing and have always been in love with music. I moved to the South Shore of Nova Scotia at the age of 10.

I began singing in the church choir and was noticed by Tela Purcell,  a local painter who offered to sponsor my education in music by sending me for four lessons with Diane Oxner-Macdonald. I did not know at the time that she was the vocal coach for other great singers including Halifax native Sarah McLachlan.

Through work over the next 4 years,  I was offered opportunities to participate in the local Music Festival in German and Italian folk and also in English. I was also able to join the Lunenburg Chorale.

At the same time I was active as a member of a Barbershop Chorus called the Sons of the Sea.  I also began pursuing more music in Junior High school at Centre Consolidated and then in International Baccalaureate Music programs while at Park View.

I continued singing in the church choir and performing whenever I could in public. I also began working on music in the summer as part of the summer music program for the Archdiocese of Halifax and was selected for the youth choir and sang for Saint, Pope John Paul II in 1984,  when he visited Halifax.

I also participated for two years at the Summer Camp for the Nova Scotia Youth Choir at Acadia University.  Music was definitely a big part of my life.

When I married in 1994 I began operation of Clarkcom,  a technology company and shortly after opened a recording studio in Bridgewater where I could produce not only my own albums but albums for other musicians. 

IN 2000 I recorded an album called “In Tune and On Time”,  Artist such as Close to Home, Midlife Crisis, Joyce Seamone and Short Notice all worked on our album during that year. I also did full album productions for Midlife Crisis,  Close to Home, The Coalstokers, and Diane Willband.

Our family was growing and my three children and I began performing together as soon as they could walk and talk and we released our first CD, “The Clark Family Group“,  and then a second, “We’re still here“,  in 2010.

I continued to write songs and produce music after moving to St. Anthony, NL for 5 years and then Sydney, NS for two years before moving back home to the South Shore in 2016.  I continue to work on music and perform.

My Sons are either fully grown working or off at university and my daughter is soon going to be graduating high school, so now I will turn back to a solo approach with them coming and participating from time to time as their lives and schedules permit.  I hope you enjoy what I have done and what is still to come as I ramp up my second act in this musical life I have been living.