The folk pairing of Dave Kilbank, left, and Paul Bezooyen will kick off the MAC’s Sounds of Summer concert series, with their performance on July 14. — Submitted by Dave Kilbank

Nanaimo folk pair kick off MAC’s Sounds of Summer

Sometimes called the Simon and Garfunkel of the Island, duo plays July 14

The McMillan Arts Centre is nearing the start of its Sounds of Summer three-concert series, with the first concert taking place July 14.

While Mildly Wild and the Jon Miller Jazz Quartet will be performing original jazz and classical jazz on August 11 and August 25 respectively, the Sounds of Summer will be kicked off by folk duo Dave Kilbank and Paul Bezooyen.

Both guitarists and singers with long solo careers to their credit, the pair gravitated towards each other at Nanaimo’s Songwriter’s Circle in 2009, said Kilbank.

“We ended up sort of going, ‘hey, I like the way that guy sounds!’ and the next thing you know, you start to invite people to jam along with you.”

Since then, the pair have put together two CDs: Travelers in 2013, and Fire on the Horizon in 2016, through a process of going over each other’s old work or writing new music in the vein of the singer/songwriters of the ’70s, said Kilbank.

They work to create meaningful lyrics meant to be considered as contemplation of the sorrows, happiness and complications of life.

One of the best things that has come out of the partnership for Kilbank is a more uplifting lilt to their music, he said.

“Some of my solo stuff was a little ascerbic sometimes,” said Kilbank. “But Paul has a very positive outlook, so he’s had a very positive influence on what I’m writing about and the main thing is to turn these social comments into hope.”

Though the pair has sometimes been referred to as the Simon and Garfunkel of Vancouver Island, Kilbank said he shies away from the comparison.

Nonetheless, the pair will be doing a cover of The Boxer, as well as the Eagles’ Peaceful Easy Feeling for the concert at the MAC. The rest will be the duo’s original work, including some new songs, said Kilbank.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be an awesome night,” he said.

This first concert of the Sounds of Summer series is on July 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 or $12 for OCAC members, while tickets for all three concerts are $42.