As the night progressed, certain moments and specific songs were left in my head as standouts. Andrea England's performance of her song Laundry was definitely one that grabbed ahold of me. Painting a picture of an unexpected life with lyrics like "they say for a good life you've got to give more then you get / picking up dirty laundry wasn't how I pictured it", and, "I packed my soul up and I took it for a ride”, the song left me with a strong urge to hug the Nova Scotian born songstress. The harsh honesty that Andrea presents in this song is softened by the whimsical guitar groove and gentle melody. Andrea has a beautiful humble nature that leaves you at ease when she speaks, but don't be fooled by her humility - her talent is endless.
Liz Rodrigues, to put it simply, is an absolute powerhouse. She has a way with words that will leave you in complete awe and the voice to showcase them perfectly. Liz, accompanied by the incredibly skilled guitarist Greg Cockerill, played a medley of the hooks that she has written for different artists such as Eminem's Won't Back Down, which was voiced by P!NK, a hook written for Pitbull, and the theme song for Call Of Duty: Ghosts as well as a few others. For me, it was when Liz sang a song that she had admittedly written that afternoon that she completely captured me. The song Everything Breaks, was flawlessly delivered. Joined on stage by Matthew Burnett, a multi-platinum Toronto Hip-hop and R&B producer, she paid homage to her Portuguese roots. With the aid of a family friend who was near-by that afternoon, the chorus of Everything Breaks was penned in her family’s native tongue. You could feel the pride of her family, sitting in the back of the room while Liz held the rest of us in the palm of her hands. Liz is also one of four member in the Alternative Hip-hop band, The New Royales.
The night was sprinkled with some incredible guest spots. Toronto based artist Melissa Bel was brought up by Andrea England to perform a song that they had co-written together called C'est La Vie. The crowd was immediately blown away the moment Melissa opened her mouth. With precision and power, Melissa delivered an incredible performance that most definitely warranted her being on stage with such greats. The eyebrows of all 4 musicians on the stage rose with surprise and rested with enjoyment during Melissa's performance.
Overall, Four Chords And The Truth was an incredible event. It was such a treat to be brought into the private worlds out of which these musicians draw their music. Even though each artist was different stylistically, each one was a master at what they did. To sit in front of a room of people and allow themselves to be that vulnerable is a difficult task but I am extremely grateful that they did. It was a beautiful event and I am very much looking forward to the next round.
Review by: Bianca Bernardi biancabmusic.com
Photography by: Mike Highfield @MC_Highfield
Edited by: Jesse Kline