The past few years have been a bit of a musical drought for fans of Ana Miura.
It’s not that the local singer/songwriter hasn’t been performing. Between her solo shows, festival dates and several side projects, she’s graced the stages of many an Ottawa stage.
But her acclaimed debut album, Tenacious Heart, was released three years ago, and Miura is now excited to begin recording something new.
Her sophomore album is due out this fall, but in the meantime Miura will capture the charm and intimacy of her live show with a recorded concert that’s part of the Gallery Recording Studio Concert Series.
“It will be mostly new tunes, as long as I can sing. Or maybe it will be old songs reinvented in a sultry, throaty way,” says Miura with a hoarse laugh. The sweet-voiced singer has been hit with a nasty bout of laryngitis.
But even if it isn’t gone by showtime, Miura won’t let it get her down. She recalls a show in New York City where she was also plagued with a scratchy throat.
“It made for an interesting show. I talked more than usual and played some long guitar solos.”
It’s no wonder Miura included the word “tenacious” in her first album. Until recently she was juggling full-time university studies and her flourishing career. Now it’s a part-time job, as well as her solo shows, collaborations with other area musicians, and organizing the charity female singer/songwriter tour Babes for Breasts. She is also busy raising her son.
Dean Watson, creator of the Gallery concert series, describes her as “one of the harder working musicians I know.”
“She has always captivated her audiences with her on-stage and off-stage charm,” adds Watson.
“I am proud to have Ana perform for this series as she really embodies the spirit of a hard-working Ottawa musician.”
When asked how she balances her busy career and personal life, Miura says it’s a combination of help and organization.
“My parents help me a lot with my son when I am away performing and I am very fortunate that way. It’s a lot of ongoing stuff, and maybe it gets me a little rundown sometimes, but I love the variety of things I do.”
She also loves working with new talents, which she calls the discovery of singer/songwriter Dave Norris, who will open the show for her, a “lucky find”.
Norris was recommended by some of Miura’s musician friends when she was looking for an opener for another recent concert, and when she heard him she was “blown away.”
“He played his whole set and didn’t have a bad song. He is a great singer and his writing is so smart and interesting.”
Always willing to take a chance, Miura is also excited to work with the other opener, Sarah Loucks – a Peterborough-based musician that Miura “met” through MySpace.
“She e-mailed me and I loved her stuff and next thing you know we were planning the show.”