When singer-songwriter Carolyn Mark takes the stage at The Dream Café on Oct.18, she promises a one-of-a-kind performance.
“I won’t throw the television out the window or anything,” joked the Sicamous-born singer and songwriter. “I change it up every night depending on what’s happening.”
Although Mark moved to Victoria with her mother when she was in Grade 12 and has lived there since, she feels being reared in a small town gave her a sense of being comfortable with herself, even if her behaviour makes some people feel a little uneasy.
“I guess I have to just be myself,” she said. “People like all kinds of music. Sometimes people don’t like it when it’s too much. They can only handle a certain amount. They like a veneer of professionalism … some people are delicate.”
A few years ago, Mark was at the Dream Café with the group, Po’ Girl (which featured singer-instrumentalist Allison Russell who was at the venue with the duo, Birds of Chicago in October).
In addition to the eclectic atmosphere, Mark likes the established clientele at the restaurant and said she’s excited to have the chance to be among the many that have been featured there.
Joining her are guitarist Joel Fernandes and stand-up bass player Dennis Siemens.
Mark has recorded as a solo artist and as a member of the duo The Corn Sisters with American colleague Neko Case, as well as with the bands the Vinaigrettes, Jr. Gone Wild, Showbusiness Giants, the Fixin’s and the Metronome Cowboys.
Mark released her first album, Party Girl, in 2000, and her follow up, a duo with Case, was that same year.
She and Mark met when Case was a member of the band, Maow and attending Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, at the same time Mark was with the Vinaigrettes.
“Because we were both girl bands, they kept putting us on shared bills in Nanaimo and stuff,” said Mark. “We became friends and she slept over at my house and had a dream that we were travelling musicians that wore beauty pageant sashes and tap shoes and it was like, ‘We should do that.’ And we did. That was The Corn Sisters.”
In 2009 Mark’s co-released album, Let’s Just Stay Here with Toronto’s NQ Arbuckle was nominated for a 2010 Juno Award in the Roots and Traditional Album category. In September 2012, she released her seventh solo album, The Queen of Vancouver Island.
After performing in Penticton, Mark will be heading to a club in Nashville to play a five-song set, and then she’ll be going to California to visit some friends and make an appearance on their podcast, American Parlor Songbook.
“I’m pretty happy with where I’m at,” said Mark. “We’re going to record part of this trip. We’re making a record and we’re going to finish it in Ymir, B.C.,” she said, admitting that with the convenience and ease of access to music online, she’s puzzled as to whether or not making CDs is a good way to reach an audience.
“I don’t know,” said Mark. “It’s just a really confusing time.”
Tickets are $15. For reservations call 250-490-9012. Doors open at 6 p.m. and show time is 8 p.m.