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Martin Kerr, man of the people

Folk troubadour hosts a concert at Arden Theatre on May 15
1105 Martin Kerr - portrait suede
Folk troubadour Martin Kerr performs at the Arden Theatre on Wednesday, May 15.


Martin Kerr Live in Concert

Wednesday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Arden Theatre

5 St. Anne Street

Tickets: $40. Call 780-459-1542 or at


Folk troubadour Martin Kerr finally gets his wish to play the Arden Theatre, born out of his early performance days busking at the St. Albert Farmers' Market.

This coming Wednesday, May 15, the Edmonton-based singer-songwriter will play inside the theatre – not outside.

While busking adds colour and vibrancy to a community, people often see this form of musical entertainment as begging. Not Kerr. He used the opportunity to meet passersby. His friendliness coupled with easily relatable songs evolved into a slew of invitations to perform house concerts, private functions and gigs.

“People appreciate that you take the steps to share songs. By being open, people open up to you,” said Martin, a singer-songwriter with an ingrained positive outlook on life.

His work paid off. He hit the big time last year with his latest single, You’re Amazing, earning international airplay and plenty of recognition. It’s a song that celebrates the long haul of a romantic relationship.

“We did it by pushing and rallying friends. We tried to crack the national charts.”

Music Canada’s Album Chart listed the album in the top 10 sharing spots with Katie Perry, Ed Sheeran and Nickelback.

“We made No. 2 on National iTunes. No. 1 was Imagine Dragons and No. 3 was Ed Sheeran. That only lasted one day. Ed was back up to No. 2 the next day. I couldn’t sustain it, but it got me more attention around the world, and it was a scrapbook moment.”

Another memoir moment was his 2018 opening act for Sarah McLachlan at the Winspear Theatre.

“It was a bucket list moment – to meet somebody of Sarah McLachlan’s calibre. I was wondering if I’d meet her when I heard a knock on my dressing room door. We had a good chat for about 20 minutes about life and music."

A choir of about 40 children was invited to participate.

“She gave them each a hug. The fact that someone of that calibre took time to talk to everyone individually is inspiring. That kind of humbleness and kindness is something I hope to emulate some day.”

Many fans would say that day is already here.

Within the next few months, Kerr is releasing five new songs he’ll preview at the Wednesday concert.

Enemy, a co-write with Ryan Jesperson, could be viewed as a love song or one with political overtones.

“Our politics are so diverse to the point people in the same family can’t talk about things because of the hyper-controversy with truth.”

Good Old Days pokes politicians who use a romanticized past as campaign slogans.

“They were the ones in charge when things went down the toilet. It’s hypocrisy.”

And Even If I Wanted To is a song inspired by a teenage girl dying from cancer. Kerr was at the University Hospital when a nurse spontaneously asked him to sing one last song for her.

“I stepped into her room to sing a song and there were about 20 family members there. They told me she likes the Beatles and I sang Blackbird.

“It was a really powerful emotion. People had been through so much and she was barely conscious. I never felt so much emotion in a room full of people.”

Singing stories about shared experiences is what Kerr does best. Tickets are limited.


Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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