Story-telling singer comes to Ladysmith April 4

Tim Readman, a British-born folk singer now based in Vancouver will perform with fiddler Jennie Bice.

Vancouver-based folk singer Tim Readman performs at In The Beantime Café April 4 with fiddler Jennie Bice.

Vancouver-based folk singer Tim Readman performs at In The Beantime Café April 4 with fiddler Jennie Bice.

People of all ages who enjoy laughter, music, story-telling and interactive fun are invited to see musician Tim Readman perform at In the Beantime Café on Friday, April 4.

Vancouver-based Readman is a British-born folk singer whose flair for performing live and connecting with audiences has earned him both critical accolades and plenty of fans.

Growing up in England, he had the opportunity to learn many of the songs and stories that were part of his country’s oral history. Charmed by their fantastical nature — they range from Scottish death ballads to romantic tales to stories of witches in the woods — he eventually took up traditional folk music, and now he brings it to the audiences of his adopted home on B.C.’s West Coast.

“Folk music has an enduring quality,” said Readman. “That was what really grabbed me when I was growing up — the craft and the story telling.”

That storytelling is something Readman delights in, and he invites the audience into his world when he performs.

For Readman, storytelling and humour go hand-in-hand, and he said audience members should be prepared to have a laugh and participate in the fun.

“You are engaging with the audience. The deal is, I’ll bring 50 per cent of the night, the audience brings the other 50 per cent,” he said. “For example, if something funny happens on the way to the show, you tell them about it and somehow, it works its way into the night. I really enjoy building up a relationship with the audience.”

Though he specializes in traditional English, Irish and Scottish folk music, Readman also enjoys throwing in an occasional Madonna or Steely Dan song.

“We take our music seriously but we don’t take ourselves seriously,” Readman said.

He grew up in a “musical family” where there were always guitars around the house; Readman’s older brother was in a band and his sister ran with a crowd that was into folk music.

Readman naturally got into the local music scene as a youngster, and he spent many years taking in music at the local folk club, where he first learned many of the traditional songs and stories of the British Isles.

As a young adult, Readman travelled to Vancouver Island during a summer break from school and fell in love with the natural beauty of the place.

Years later, he made the move to B.C. and he hasn’t looked back. He said Vancouver Island in particular has been welcoming to him and his style of music, with many venues on the Island lending themselves well to his interactive style and his folk music.

Readman appears at In the Beantime Café with fiddler Jennie Bice Friday, April 4 at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10, and all ages are welcome. For tickets, phone 250-245-2305 or e-mail Campbell McIntyre at cammac1010@hotmail.com.

To learn more about Readman, click here.