Lennie Gallant has performed his music in community halls, soft-seat theatres, open fields and festival tents across North America and Europe.
But often the gigs that mean the most to the award-winning P.E.I. singer-songwriter are the ones closest to home.
That’s how he’s feeling about the live, intimate show he’s doing in his hometown this weekend.
“I love playing in Rustico. It’s always fun. It takes me back to my roots, my friends and family, people I like catching up with during the year,” Gallant tells me as he describes the concert set for Feb. 11 at Centre acadien Grand-Rustico at 7 p.m.
It’s his first time playing at the Salle Lennie Gallant, a multi-purpose theatre room, since it was named in his honour in 2014 to mark his musical success and community pride.
So it doesn’t get more special than that.
But Gallant steers away from talking about the recognition, preferring to talk about his roots and the concert instead.
“I grew up in Rustico. My father ran a store there for many years. My family has been there forever.”
He’s also talking romance because the concert is so close to Feb. 14, there’s a Valentine’s Day theme.
“We’ll be looking at the love side of things.”
So, expect to hear songs like “You Don’t Know How Beautiful You Are”, “Mademoiselle (Voulez - Vous Danser), “Pieces of You” and other romantic-tinged favourites from Gallant’s song book.
“I’m also excited about trying out new songs I’ve been working on,” says Gallant.
That’s because, after a busy summer of touring and performing his popular show, “Searching For Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant”, at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside, Gallant is heading back into the studio this spring to record a new album.
The Rustico show is a forerunner to a Canadian tour that will take him from Saint John, N.B., to Penticton, B.C.
Although he won’t have his full band along, he has two of his favourite musicians in tow.
“I’m happy to say that Patricia Richard and Jeremy Gallant will be coming along.”
Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at sally.cole@TheGuardian.pe.ca or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.
If you are going
What: Valentine Cabaret with Lennie Gallant
When and where: Feb. 11, Centre acadien Grand-Rustico, 7 p.m.
Information: To find out more about this show, which is for those 19 and over, visit www.conseilacadien.com or call 902-963-3252.
Lennie Gallant website: Go to https://www.lenniegallant.com.