Teaches these classes at Traditions Weeks

David Essig may have started out fifty years ago as a hired-gun blues guitarist and mandolin player, but today he’s best known as one of Canada’s most enduring and literate singer-songwriters. On festival stages and in intimate solo concert settings, David is a songwriter with a difference.

With his authentic voice that bridges the blues and country music traditions, David performs his original guitar-driven songs with the narrative precision of a fiction author - which, in fact, he is.

In addition to his 23 albums of original music, David has published a novel, Dancing Hand, (2013) and a collection of short stories, Fair Days (2022) - the latter is a unique project, consisting of 13 stories, all based on narratives in songs he has written and performed. The volume includes an album of new recordings by David of all 13 songs.

For concert and festival performances in 2023, David is focusing on his role as a musical storyteller while still channeling some serious Inner Elmore with his Delta-style slide guitar.

While many members of David’s audience are listeners who’ve followed his narrative trajectory for decades, others are young guitar fans who sit in the front row, taking notes. To these kids, David smiles and says, Come for the guitar, but stay for the stories.

And those kids do listen. As one 12-year-old commented recently as he watched David do a soundcheck: The dude can shred.

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