Pat Maloney Brings the Campus Sound to Bruce Wine Bar

Pat Maloney will be at Bruce Wine Bar this Friday, stopping by between St. Jacobs on Thursday and St. Catherines on Saturday on his latest southern Ontario tour.  In just a few short years he’s made quite a career as an itinerant musician, constantly bringing his combination of guitar, whistling and singing to another room to cheer the inhabitants.  He’s built audiences on campus throughout the U.K and Canada.  In the UK he’s there for the week long party they call Fresher Week for campus newbies, and the rest of the year he’s visiting Canadian campuses.  One of his songs, “Repotting” has been a hit on Campus radio across Canada.  COCA, the Canadian Association of Campus Activities, voted him “Singer-Songwriter of the Year” in 2015.

In 1991 The Barenaked Ladies had the first ever certified-gold cassette of a demo tape because they sold so many while touring the campuses.  Patrick Maloney’s focus on that market in his short three year history has already made him one of the busiest touring musicians in the country.  That in turn has made him one of the most comfortable and engaging performers on a small stage, whose music has been described as “soulful, honest, hilarious and smart”

His first two full-length albums, “Root Rot” and “Repotting” quickly sold out of their first printings as he toured.  With three albums in three years, his latest is “Right There”, a live studio album featuring just his voice, a guitar, a bass drum, and lots of whistling.  The recording offers nine songs about touring in England’s rugged midlands, his travels across Canada and his life in Ontario.

Inspired by Canadian songwriters like Danny Michel, Hawksley Workman and Joel Plaskett

Inspired by Canadian songwriters like Danny Michel, Hawksley Workman and Joel Plaskett, Pat Maloney has been writing songs since he was growing up in Greely, south of Ottawa.

As a songwriter his songs pour out of him naturally like a run-on conversation.  “These lyrics are so literal,” he says in More To Love, “haven’t read a whole book in years.”

While at Fanshawe College for its two-year Music Industry Arts program he played in bands.   When he graduated he stayed on as an employee promoting events for the Student Union.  The opportunity to learn first-hand what campus audiences want, and to build a network of music industry associates wasn’t lost on him.  After six years on campus he struck out to take his own music to other campuses.  He spent his afternoons making cold calls to pubs and sending emails until he strung together enough dates to build a tour on.  In his first year he played 170 dates.  As he built a following, he was able to use crowd funding for his second album release in 2014.

He clearly loves the fact that he has been able to make a living for himself as a musician. When he spoke to Lorelei Kenny at The University of PEI last fall, the advice he offered aspiring musicians was, “Quit your job and never look back. Stomach the poverty for a couple years and you’ll feel like the most powerful human being who ever lived.”

He went on to tell her, “I work 100% independently. I hire the odd publicist to help get the word out, but the bookings and management are all me. I spend all day coordinating tours and promoting shows. That sums up Monday – Thursday, 9-5. Evenings are spent writing and rehearsing. By Thursday night I’m out of town. Then I like to say ‘I drive for a living and sing for free.’ I travel to wonderful and awful places and play music for people who sometimes appreciate it.”

At Bruce Wine Bar, which has cultivated an appreciative audience with a consistent lineup of singer-songwriters, Pat Maloney gives us a chance to hear what college kids across Canada and Britain already know.  It’s bound to be a good night.

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One Response to Pat Maloney Brings the Campus Sound to Bruce Wine Bar

  1. Gillian says:

    By golly, another musician with “no plan B”. Good post.

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