Canada’s hardest-working folk artist lands in Cumberland October 20 for a double header during his short west-coast blast.

35-year veteran singer-songwriter, James Gordon, arrives for a songwriting workshop and a full evening concert at the Cumberland Masonic Hall.

Starting at 3pm, the songwriting workshop is designed for any age, and no previous musical experience is necessary. Participants learn, through writing songs together, that open-mindedness, listening and courage are key components of collaboration and creativity. Gordon will guide the group all the way to recording their collective end-product, and each participant will receive an mp3.

At 730pm, Gordon takes the stage for a straight-up concert, featuring songs from his brand-new album, “Sunny Jim” – his eight album with Borealis Records – plus plenty from his previous albums and some near-and-dear traditionals.

A casual reception will follow the concert, to enjoy a chance to meet James or catch-up and talk politics. He is a councillor in his hometown of Guelph, Ontario, and also ran for the provincial NDP seat in his riding. He last visited the west coast while touring his one-man-show, “Stephen Harper: The Musical”, which came through the Valley twice to well-amused audiences.

Gordon’s professional credentials are stellar.  As a solo singer-songwriter and with the ground-breaking trio Tamarack, he has released over forty albums, and has toured relentlessly around the world. Gordon has written for symphony orchestras, musical theatre and dance works, film scores, and for more than ten years was heard on CBC radio as songwriter-in-residence for the “Basic Black” and “Ontario Morning” programs. His songs have been recorded and performed by such varied acts as The Cowboy Junkies, Melanie Doane, Al Simmons, James Keelaghan, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and many major choirs. (His songs can be heard at jamesgordon.ca).  His classic “Frobisher Bay” has been recorded and performed by hundreds of acts world-wide and was an audition piece for “Canadian Idol.”

Equally skilled as a playwright, using musical theatre as a vehicle for pointed social commentary, Gordon’s plays include “Hardscrabble Road” (about homelessness and globalization issues), “Nastee’ Business” (about the bottled water scam), and “Tryst and Snout” (a hillbilly adaptation of  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”).

Tickets for both the Songwriting Workshop and the Concert are available online at www.gigtix.ca. Pre-registration is required for the workshop. More info is available on facebook or by calling Tinshack Creative at 250.650.5425 To learn more about the artist, visit JamesGordon.ca