Guthro is rockin' Sydney's waterfront

GREG GUY

, Last Updated: 5:40 PM ET

Bruce Guthro has a busy weekend of concerts ahead of him.

The Sydney Mines-born singer/songwriter will head up to the Springhill Musicfest '99 on Friday night to open three-nights of concerts celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Anne Murray Centre.

On Saturday, he travels home to Cape Breton (for his only live concert on the island this year) at Sydney's Action Week Kick-off Concert on the waterfront.

Guthro looks forward to this event which welcomed more than 8,000 people to the Sydney waterfront last year.

"It's sort of a Bruce Guthro and friends type of concert," said the multiple-ECMA award-winning singer.

This year he will be joined by Juno Award-winning family band Leahy (who are taking a break from their worldwide tour with Shania Twain).

"I wanted to keep the concert as a Celtic theme. When I first saw Leahy they blew my mind," said Guthro. This is Leahy's only Atlantic Canadian date this year.

The Men of the Deeps and even Guthro's son, Dylan and daughter, Jodi will hit the stage.

"Dylan's only eight, but he's now getting into the electric guitar. He's learned the word distortion," Guthro joked.

Young Glace Bay singer Aslyn Devison, who gained national attention after singing a song during the mining rally in January when mine closures were announced, will join the Men of the Deeps.

Guthro has also been criss-crossing the pond, touring with the Scottish band Runrig.

He played London's Royal Albert Hall recently. When he stepped out on stage in one of the world's largest concert halls, he told the British audience, "We have pubs home in Cape Breton bigger than this place."

The Britons politely applauded. With some demand for Runrig albums here in Nova Scotia, Guthro says part of his deal with EMI Records was to separate his solo career from his Runrig endeavours.

"I won't go over there and launch a solo career yet," he said.

When Guthro is not performing these days he's writing material for his next album which he hopes to have out next February or March.

"I'd like to be in the studio by September of October," he said.

"I'm going through a batch of demos and I realize how important the next album is. The second one is the cruncher. The first one always excites people, but the second one can make and break your career."

Guthro is now searching for a producer and is going over song styles and instrumentation.

"We're in the early process," said the soft-spoken Guthro.

One song destined for his next release is called The Rest of Us, which focusses on the industrial climate in Cape Breton and basically worldwide.

"It's the shape of things to come for the world, with corporate mergers and what they will lead to," says Guthro. "The song is a quaint reminder of what it's all about and do we really want to go there. . . Will we eventually be run by five large corporations. It's scary."

1999 has been rewarding for Guthro. Besides five ECMA awards in February in St. John's, he picked up three Canadian Radio Music Awards in March - including break out artist of the year, pop-rock artist and country artist.

"I'm looking forward to returning home and this time actually be able to really spend time with my family," he said.

Guthro moved to Halifax eight months ago.

"It really is a homecoming."


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