Entertainment Local

End goal an amazing show: Gabriel

By Susan Doolan, Special to Postmedia Network

Musician Michael Gabriel will bring his Strings Attached show to the area next weekend. Some of the proceeds will support Youth Haven. KEVIN LAMB/PHOTO

Musician Michael Gabriel will bring his Strings Attached show to the area next weekend. Some of the proceeds will support Youth Haven. KEVIN LAMB/PHOTO

Michael Gabriel returns to this area for another Strings Attached concert next weekend.

The Vancouver-born, California-based singer songwriter will be appearing with a three-piece string ensemble from Hamilton and a small choir out of Kitchener.

“I try to make show bigger and better every time we do it; we want to focus on having an intimate show,” said Gabriel, who has worked with all of the musicians in the past, so much so that they have become a finely tuned band.

“The show will be a similar vibe (to) last year,” he said. “We got a standing ovation. Ultimately, it’s about delivering a great concert.

“The end goal is to put on an amazing show.”

One of the returning musicians is Barrie pianist Margot Hamilton, owner of The Melody In Me, a local music and performing arts school.

There is always a community aspect to his shows as well and this year, he is donating partial proceeds to Youth Haven.

Next weekend’s concert marks the third time he has performed in the Barrie area.

He has been travelling across Canada and the United States, living in an RV, since he started Strings Attached in 2011.

There are elements that change in the communities he visits on regular basis, but the essence of his shows remain the same: original music combined with strings and choral backing.

He believes it takes his pop music to a different level.

Last year, he released a four-song EP, Alabama Sky. It is his second Strings Attached record. A music video for the first single, Staring Ceilings, has another collaborative element I that it features dancers. It can be seen on YouTube.

A video for another track, More to Me, is in process and Gabriel hopes to release it before the show.

Prior to his current work, he released three full-length solo albums.

“I love making videos,” Gabriel said. “My philosophy now is record a track, make a video for it and release it on YouTube.”

Born in Vancouver, Gabriel played drums in high school, but came to music as a career later in life.

Initially, he worked in theatre, film and television.

During his training as an actor, he took a singing class and was hooked. Classical vocal training followed and he marked his first performance as a singer with an Italian folk song in his early 20s.

Then he taught himself how to play the guitar; he loves the finger picking classical style of playing.

Gabriel has performed as a classical singer in Vancouver, has been the lead singer in bands in both Canada and the U.S.

For the past 10 years, he’s been based in southern California, but that’s about to change.

“Even a gypsy needs a home,” he said. “I’ve been living on the road for four years. I wanted a home base and to be part of the community. What I’ve missed the most (and) playing soccer with friends.”

For the past five months, he’s been living in Acton, Calif. He is looking to have a more balanced life, but plans to continue performing solo and orchestral shows.

The all-ages show takes place on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library, Lakeshore Branch, located at 967 Innisfil Beach Rd., beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance through www.eventbrite.com or $25 at the door.

For more information, call 705-431-7410.