It’s hard enough performing your own songs as a musician, let alone the songs of legendary singer-songwriter Carole King. This fall, ECMA award-winner Erin Costelo will be doing just that as she embarks on a tour, performing a tribute to one of the most beloved and influential albums of all time, Carole King’s Tapestry.
Costelo has opened for legends like Mavis Staples, Dr. John and Bettye Lavette, and performed with Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band. Her own self-produced album Down Below, the Status Quo won Solo Recording of the Year at the Nova Scotia Music Awards and was nominated for four ECMAs (Album of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Solo Recording of the Year, and won ECMA R&B/Soul Recording of the Year). So, if anyone is going to try stepping into those shoes, Costelo might measure up.
Costelo says that she’s up for the challenge, but where her goals are different from those of other tribute shows, it might not be the challenge audiences would expect.
“I don’t need to sound like Carole King, or look like her. I just play the songs that people love so much. And that I love,” says Costelo. “It is incredible to play songs that bring people so much joy and to hear a crowd sing along. I strive to be just like her and to write songs that people engage with in the same way. She is my hero!”
She still needs to compete against the extraordinary quality of the original album, and just how familiar audiences are going to be with every note and word of the source material. Costelo says she’s just as familiar with it as anyone, having first heard the album from her parents’ collection when she was 8 or 9.
“I was taking piano lessons and loved pop music. She was the perfect person to look up to. A songwriter, a piano player, a singer, she was everything I aspired to be. And as I grew up and faced the normal challenges as a woman in the music industry, I admired her even more. And Tapestry is a work of genius. It is a joy to listen to and a joy to play!”
It’s also not the first time that Costelo has performed the album. She did a version of the shows a few years ago in Halifax and has been asked for repeat performances ever since. Not only is she doing that, but she’s also performing it at a handful of locations in New Brunswick. The show will be done as a double set, beginning with her own music and finishing with Carole King’s Tapestry.
“I thought ‘if I am going to do it, let’s take it on the road.’ It is a lot of work to learn all those songs and just one show in Halifax seems a shame given how hard we work on the material.”
11.16.17 @ Wilser’s Room, Fredericton, NB
11.17.17 @ Second Wind Music Centre, Florenceville-Bristol, NB
11.18.17 @ Sanctuary Theatre, Saint John, NB
12.08.17 @ The Marquee Ballroom, Halifax, NS