Juno winner Donovan Woods tells stories and plays mellow music for Geomatic Attic


 The Geomatic Attic tested out the Sterndale Bennett Theatre as a new venue and packed approximately 160 people into  the room, Sunday, March 24 for a captivating show with Sarnia, Ontario and newly minted Juno Award winner Donovan Woods and the opposition, his backing band including lead guitarist Dean Drouillard, who has played with Buffy St. Marie, Deep Dark Woods drummer Joshua Van Tassel, bassist John Dinsmore and keyboardist Robbie Grunwald. Donovan Woods brings Katie Pruitt up on stage for an encore, march 24 at the Sterendale Bennett Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery
Woods had a mellow, whispery contemporary folk pop  sound along the lines of Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and Dan Mangan with a touch of Paul Simon.

 He switched guitars and patch chords pretty much every song, telling stories all the while.
I was sad to have missed opener Katie Pruitt, even more after she joined Woods on stage for an encore of “ I Ain’t Ever Loved No One Like You.”

 “There was a time in a career where I wouldn’t have let someone who sings as well as Katie on stage with me because I’ve made a career of musical mumble speak,” chuckled Woods, who spent most of his set cracking jokes and telling stories about the  giant banner behind him, and writing songs like “What do They Mean” with “ the guy from Lady Antebellum (Charles Kelley)” and Jake Etheridge, “who is really famous in Holland.”

 He played a captivating set of  songs from his  latest CD “Both Ways,” and a few songs he wrote in Nashville including “Portland, Maine” which Tim McGraw recorded for his 2014 “Sundown Heaven Town.”

“I never thought I’d write a better song than that and I was going record it myself, then Tim McGraw said he wanted it. And I said yes because my goal is to be rich and rich in Sarnia is having two sleds and a trailer and a Ford 150 to go to beautiful Lake Huron,” he deadpanned, noting McGraw made it track 11 on the CD “where all the hits go.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor