Vancouver singer-songwriter Dan Mangan has played several times over the years in Kelowna. From the Keloha music festival last summer to earlier appearances at smaller venues such as the Habitat, the Minstrel Cafe and the Blue Gator, Mangan is certainly no stranger to the Okanagan.
But tonight (Thursday) Mangan will play the Kelowna Community Theatre for the first time, continuing a trend that has seen him garner Juno awards, critical acclaim and an increased fan base since the release of this third full album, 2011’s Oh Fortune.
“We’ve had an incredible couple of years,” said Mangan in an interview with the Kelowna Capital News. “We’ve had the opportunity to step up into these larger venues which is amazing and exciting. It changes the dynamic a little bit but it’s about the same thing: It’s about going on a journey from the beginning of the show until the end for everybody.”
For Mangan the journey from coffeehouses to theatres has featured three full length studio albums and a touring schedule that has seen him spend the majority of his time on the road, honing a style of music that has morphed from solo performances in the true spirit of singer-songwriter to this current tour, which will see a six piece band joining Mangan on stage.
Still it is and always has been about the connection between band and audience that comes through in Mangan’s shows.
“For us it’s fairly philosophical when we play,” he said. “You don’t just go up and recite music. To make it good for us and for the audience you have to try and live every moment and find that unconscious state of transference. The idea is to live the song as opposed to just performing it. Hopefully it creates moments when you are truly connected with the other people on stage and the audience. It’s amazing when it happens.”
Mangan’s rise in popularity across the country can be at least partly attributed to a growing fan base cultivated by the nation’s public broadcaster CBC. His genre-busting style has seen his music played on all three of the CBC’s radio stations Radio 1, 2 and 3. He has also been spotlighted on www.music.cbc.ca, including a documentary on Mangan’s concert at the Orpheum in Vancouver, a place he had always dreamed of playing.
“I’m a huge advocate of the CBC,” he said. “I grew up listening to the CBC. I think it’s a total treasur and I’m disheartened that it keeps getting hacked and slashed. I think it’s important to maintaining a sovereign culture that isn’t just a carbon copy of the United States.”
Mangan’s unique style will be on display Thursday night at the Kelowna Community Theatre when he brings his cross-Canada tour to Kelowna, along with opening act The Rural Alberta Advantage. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are through Ticketmaster.