Last chance to see Liona?

The First Lady of the Guitar is coming back to Brockville, but her future career plans may involve less touring.

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The iconic performer known as “The First Lady of the Guitar” is coming to Brockville in a week, and it may be our last chance to see her in our hometown.

Liona Boyd is launching her latest Ontario tour, “An Intimate Evening With The First Lady of the Guitar,” at the Brockville Arts Centre Nov. 1.

In an interview Wednesday, the guitarist, singer and author said she has not quite made up her mind about what her next career move might be. While she will continue to find avenues for her prodigious creativity, it may involve more writing and fewer tours.

“In a way it could be the last concert I could be doing in a place like Brockville,” she said in a telephone interview from Toronto.

Not that she doesn’t enjoy the experience.

“I think it’s a treat to be in a small hall because the audience is right there and it’s more intimate,” she said.

“There’s a kind of magic that can happen because you’re all there for a moment in time.”


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Boyd, 69, has of course performed in a great number of large, world-class venues, starting with her 1975 debut performance at Carnegie Hall.

Along with her solo career, she has toured with and opened for Gordon Lightfoot, and taken part in musical collaborations with a diverse range of artists including Chet Atkins, Canadian Brass, Eric Clapton, Olivia Newton-John, Yo-Yo Ma and Al Di Meola.

Her long musical journey has included 28 studio, live or compilation albums, five of which went gold and three platinum. Her many honours include five Junos, the Order of Canada, five honorary doctorates and, in June 2018, the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.

But a musical trajectory that has included classical, folk and world music has also brought setbacks. A 2009 diagnosis of musicians’ focal dystonia, a neurological condition, forced her to alter her playing style and incorporate singing.

Looking back now, she considers that a gift.

“That has given me a whole new chapter in my life,” said Boyd.

“I reinvented myself in middle age.”

Two years ago, she began touring with her young protégé, Andrew Dolson, a classically-trained guitarist and singer. The new tour will include solo and duet classical guitar pieces and familiar and new songs, as well as personal anecdotes from Boyd’s career.

“I just have a renewed passion for performing since I discovered singing,” she said.


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“I want to transport people to a different type of place than you would get when you go to a rock show,” she added.

“I’m a storyteller, basically, and I have a more gentle, folky voice.”

Boyd last year released her second autobiography, No Remedy for Love, and an album of the same name.

The book includes, among other things, the story of Boyd’s decades-long friendship and correspondence with Prince Philip.

“I’m very privileged to have the Queen’s husband as my pen pal,” she quipped.


WHO: Liona Boyd, accompanied by Andrew Dolson, An Intimate Evening With The First Lady of the Guitar

WHEN: Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Brockville Arts Centre

TICKETS: $42.05 + HST. More information is available at 613-342-7122, or online.