Juno award winning folk musician Bill Bourne drew his musical inspiration from an Icelandic poet, along with more common influences such as Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot and Simon and Garfunkel. Goldenites will have a chance to see Bourne perform in concert on Apr. 16 at Bacchus Books and Cafe.
Bourne grew up on a farm near Red Deer with his musically inclined parents, who had a band of their own.
“There were always musicians and music playing in the house, it was ongoing,” Bourne said. “That was a huge influence, (music) was always around, it was just a natural thing for me.”
This early exposure to music provided him with plenty of inspiration in his youth, but it is perhaps his great-grandfather that has had the longest lasting impact on his music.
Stefan G. Stefansson was a famous Icelandic poet who immigrated to Wisconsin in 1873 before moving to Alberta and settling near Red Deer. He wrote his poems in Icelandic and gained a great deal of fame in his homeland as a result.
“He really loved nature…he really focused on ideas that he believed in (with his writing,” Bourne said. “That was a big influence on my lyrics and my writing…that initial influence from my great-grandfather is pretty profound.”
Bourne has a tough time pinpointing a specific musical style for himself. Instead he prefers to play a mixture of styles including blues, Celtic and East Indian music, while adding components of more traditional music as well.
“Even though I don’t really play traditional music per say, there are elements that I’ve really recognized in the various forms of traditional music that seem to have a real staying power and energy to them that I’ve utilized in writing my own music,” Bourne said.
Most of all, Bourne enjoys improvising and playing what he calls “groovy music”. The improvisation part of his show has evolved over the course of his career with experience.
Throughout his 30 year career in the music industry, Bourne has produced a multitude of albums both as a solo performer and with others. His most recent solo release was 2012’s Songs from a Gypsy Caravan.
His personal highlights include performances at the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Edmonton folk festival.
Only 40 tickets are available for Bourne’s show at Bacchus and they will not be sold at the door. Tickets are $20 each and only 15 remained as of Monday.