Lunch At Allen’s wraps up a multi-date Ontario tour with a stop at the Orillia Opera House, May 13.
The four musicians – each an established solo singer-songwriter and performer – have between them, hit songs recorded by numerous artists and some 30 million records sold. In addition to all the favourites, Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas plan to play a few new songs.
“We love to do it – it’s such a lot of fun for us,” said Jordan of performing together.
Jordan’s first hit was Marina Del Rey. He recorded it with Jimmy Buffett’s marimba player to give it an island feel but Buffett never recorded it. He is also known for Rhythm Of My Heart, which was recorded by Rod Stewart. Jordan has also recorded numerous albums and written music for films and television.
Ian Thomas’ most well-known tune would likely be Painted Ladies. It kicked off a string of hits for the Juno-award winning singer-songwriter that were recorded by a wide variety of artists from Santana to Chicago, Bon Jovi, Bette Midler and Anne Murray, among others. In addition to writing the musical scores for more than 20 movies, he’s written a screenplay and a couple of books, including a Canadian bestseller.
The origins of Lunch at Allen’s go back to 2003 when Murray McLauchlan was asked to assemble a songwriter package for some dates in northern Ontario. McLauchlan is a Juno award-winning musician with a music career that spans 40 years and numerous albums. His most recent solo record Human Writes was his first in six years.
It was natural to ask Thomas and Jordan to join him – the three songwriters were friends and met for lunch on a regular basis at small Danforth pub and restaurant in Toronto called Allen’s. In fact, they still meet there from time to time.
They felt they needed a female to round out the group and asked Cindy Church to join them. Everyone enjoyed it so much, they kept on going, releasing their first live album during a launch party at Allen’s. Now, the group is planning on recording their fifth album.
Church is both a solo artist and a long-time member of Quartette (Sylvia Tyson, Caitlin Hanford Gwen Swick). She spans roots, jazz, and country and is comfortable in each genre. Over the years, she has been nominated for nominated for several Canadian Country Music Association awards, two Junos and, in 2015, was inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame.
There is an undefinable element – magic – that happens when they get-together. Their approach to a concert is like a band – not as a singer-songwriter event. They play each other’s songs, sing and harmonize together.
Tickets are $48, available at the box office, 705-326-8011.
Photo: Lunch At Allen’s – Canada’s musical powerhouse.