Ever wonder what happens when four Canadian talents come together for a night of entertainment? The musical group Lunch at Allen's invites Sudburians to find out this November.
On Nov. 6, the quartet will be wrapping up their Ontario-wide tour with a visit to Sudbury, where they will play a live concert at Laurentian University's Fraser Auditorium.
The show features Canadian singer-songwriters Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas, who have each achieved individual success in their decades-long careers. Collectively, they've written for or sung on more than 25 million CDs, and penned hits for prolific artists from Josh Groban, Chicago, and Bonnie Raitt, to America, Cher, and Rod Stewart.
They first came together as a group more than 20 years ago.
“It’s a labour of love in the group," said Ian Thomas, who is perhaps best known for his 1973 hit, "Painted Ladies."
"It doesn’t get much better than pickin’ and grinnin’ with some of your best friends. We’ve just become such solid friends over the years, and this Lunch at Allen’s group now really is like extended family to me.”
Originally put together as a song circle around the new millennium, they didn't expect the group to take off the way it did.
“It’s a very active, live organism, and it just sort of came together," said Thomas. "We were going to do those eight gigs on that tour that had been offered, but after those eight gigs, we started getting invited to do more shows.”
Since then, they've done cross-Canada tours nearly every year, put together a live concert DVD and released five CDs, with another hopefully on the way.
With every album or performance, each member brings their own music, sound, and experiences to the group.
“We basically bring stuff from our catalogues," said Thomas. “Mark and I are more pop writers. Murray’s got, I don’t know, how many country awards, but he’s always been kind of a troubadour. Both Cindy and Mark are folk musicians of a different ilk. So we bring a cross-section of all that material, but there’s a Lunch at Allen’s spin on all of it.”
He added, "I never thought the vocal blend would be as good as it is because we’re all such different singers. And yet, when we sing together, it’s really a wonderful knit.”
Their visit to Sudbury early next month will mark the end of their tour across Ontario.
Audiences can expect “a few laughs and a few memories," said Thomas. "We’re such good friends, what we talk about over dinner usually ends up on stage. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s kind of like a kitchen concert. People are singing along and there’s something really dear about that.”
Lunch at Allen's will be playing Laurentian University's Fraser Auditorium on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $66.50 each through the STC Box Office at 705-674-8381. Additional surcharges may apply. For more information, visit www.lunchatallens.ca.
The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.
Mia Jensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star