Sunday Afternoon Songwriters at The Garafraxa Cafe

If you missed their show at the Red Door Grille and Pub in May, you have another chance to see three local songwriters perform next Sunday afternoon, June 25th, at The Garafraxa Café in Durham.  Bill Monahan, Dave Hawkins and John Brownlow make up a show in which each does a 40-minute set of his original songs.  They have different styles, but each writes songs that contain interesting stories couched in catch melodies.  Their last show was praised by poet Robert Menzies as “impressive, highly entertaining and well crafted songs”.

John Brownlow is a busy screenwriter who also makes videos of local artists and writes constantly, recording in his home studio, playing most of the parts himself.  He has a real pop sensibility, with evident influence of the 80’s Brit-pop that nurtured his musical development.  Clever wordplay and melodic hooks combine to create something unique and entertaining.

Dave Hawkins writes from the heart, songs that mean something to him in his personal journey of discovery and transfer that meaning to the audience.  His background in jazz and country creates a melodic sense that is alluring while his lyrics combine wit with a humanistic outlook.

Bill Monahan writes love songs and fun ramblings in a style that hovers somewhere in the area of country and folk.  His songs draw you in from the first line and lead you through stories and emotions.

All three performers are relaxed on stage having spent many years performing both solo and with bands.

The Garafraxa Café is the kind of venue that you rarely find, an ideal place to enjoy this kind of music on a Sunday afternoon.  Located in the little town of Durham near the corner of Highways 4 and 6, it is a “small town treasure” with a reputation for great coffee and pastries.

Valerie Shane wrote a review last January that captures the essence of this unique place:

“We drove 52 km from Thornbury to catch the live Saturday night music at the GC. We didn’t expect to find such a unique venue with an adorable little stage and great acoustics. It was terrific to relax with a glass of wine and chill with the owners and other patrons as if we were regulars. Everyone was so friendly and by the end of the evening, it felt like we just been to a private concert. So even if it’s not close, take the drive, it’s worth every kilometer.”

If you have never been there, this show gives you a good reason to check it out.

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