“Dave has a beautiful voice and a lovely presence that shines out through his heartfelt songs. His latest CD “Take Me Home” takes the listener on a journey of poetic beauty from inspired melodies to toe tapping shanties, from soulful heartbreak to love songs and finally just plain fun. It leaves you satisfied no matter what your musical tastes may be.” (a fan)
"If one can wear out a CD [Turn of the Tide] I'll be in danger of doing so! It's wonderful! Even though I like all the songs, the ones I like best are the originals – great compositions and smart lyrics, especially Ocean Solace and Listen to the Wind. You've got a great talent there." -- Deborah Sweet, artist, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
Most of my songwriting happens when I’m alone and moving: driving, flying, boating. There’s something about the solitude of that space and activity that frees the mind and invites the muse. Most of my songs begin as melodies and rhythms, but a couple of songs have happened when I was challenged to write poetry, which I then put to music. I’ve recently enjoyed the experience of co-writing songs and will be doing more of that.
I’m inspired by the mystical and magical, romance, and the wonder of nature. And, of course, ships and the ocean. That might explain why my first cd, “Turn of the Tide” won first prize in the annual creative works competition of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron in October, 2009. That cd does have a bit of a maritime focus. My new cd released in November, 2009 “Take Me Home”, however, is definitely more in the folk/roots/country/rock/pop/celtic genre.
A paper route in grade 6 bought my first guitar, but it wasn't until the late 70s when I bought my first banjo that I started performing live. I started a band to play banjo. I figured that was the best way to learn. I was in Fredericton, New Brunswick at the time, having moved there from Montreal and the band was called Foxtooth – “folk music in overdrive”. I played banjo and autoharp. There followed over the years other bands including Stringfever in Fredericton, the Max Woolaver Band in Toronto, and the Stephanie Bird Band in Brighton, Ontario. I played bass, banjo and guitar, sang backup and some lead, and learned so much from the talented musicians I played with in those bands, many of whom are gifted songwriters. Max in particular was a great mentor. I also learned a lot as one of the founders and organizers of the Lighthouse Café concert series in Brighton where we hosted folk musicians from across Canada.
The first step I took towards centre stage was to team up with John Hughes, a former Foxtooth bandmate now living in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, in 2004. It didn’t make any sense, but we decided we should form a duo despite me being in Ontario and him being in Nova Scotia. Rehearsing through the telephone works not too badly! That’s when I started writing songs and doing more than just backup singing. And I discovered that, for me, there is nothing more fulfilling than creating and performing original music.
I struck out on my own in 2008, and now with the release of “Take Me Home”, I feel that musically I’m right where I should be and am ready for everything it will bring.
Dave Curtis: vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica
Where appropriate, I can also appear with one backup musician/vocalist as a duo, or with a full band.
eg. Rick Hodgson, bass, guitar, backing vocals
"Take Me Home", November 2009, with 9 original tracks, 3 covers. Guest appearances by Tom Leighton, Mike Francis, Duncan Cooper, Vitas Slapkauskas, Jay Boehmer, Zeke Mazurek, John Hughes and Monty Flindall. Hey, if you're going to do something, do it really really well.
"Turn of the Tide", Hughes & Curtis, 2006. Produced by Kevin Barry Evans (Evans & Doherty). With guest appearances by Kevin, J.P. Cormier and Tom Roach. 15 tracks, 7 originals, 8 covers. Hear them all at cdbaby.com/cd/hughescurtis
"I love this cd [Turn of the Tide]. I usually do not relate to music aimed at sailors but this one captures the moods and images that particularly ring personally with me.
“I can steer my boat with my feet” (Ocean Solace) brought a wee tear to my eye. “That’s me” I thought.
If you are looking for music made by sailors for sailors then you can’t do much better than the Hughes and Curtis cd.
The tunes are great and the playing is first rate. The audio quality of it all, and I speak as a committed audiophile, is superb." -- Bob Perry, Robert H. Perry Yacht Designers Inc.
One More Day in Paradise
Take Me Home
Schooners Sloops Brigantines
Chase the Dawn
Love is the Reason
Cry Me Baby
Review of "Turn of the Tide"
[+ Show ]
I had the great pleasure to have Dave Curtis, one half of the duo "Hughes & Curtis" on my radio show...I had the great pleasure to have Dave Curtis, one half of the duo "Hughes & Curtis" on my radio show "Me & My Friends" for two hours. We played their CD "Turn of the Tide" and talked about this & that. They have put together a wonderful CD with a maritime, celtic flavor, plus a lot more. It's nicely balanced with original & traditional songs. I can't pick a favorite, they're all special in their own way. It's a great CD to listen to again, and again. I highly recommend it.
DJ @ CKWE 105.9 fm, Shannonville, Ontario
Festival set list:
- Take Me Home (Dave Curtis and Krow Fischer)
- One More Day in Paradise (Dave Curtis)
- Love is the Reason (Dave Curtis)
- Hawaiian Sun (Dave Curtis and Krow Fischer)
- Schooners Sloops Brigantines (Dave Curtis)
- Reel in the Flickering Light (Colm Gallagher)
- Cry Me Baby (Dave Curtis)
- Chase the Dawn (Dave Curtis)
- Pining for Ruth (Dave Curtis)
- Sail Away (Dave Curtis)
- I Told You So (Dave Curtis)
- Listen to the Wind (Dave Curtis)
- Bluenose Lives On (Dave Curtis, John Hughes)
- Ocean Solace (Dave Curtis)
- Sometimes (Dave Curtis)
- Everybody's Talkin' (Harry Neilsson)
- 5 Days in May (Blue Rodeo)
- Someday Soon (Ian Tyson)
- Mary Ellen Carter (Stan Rogers)
- Dark Island (David Silver, Iian McLaughlan)
- Fields of Gold (Sting)
Length of sets varies. Festivals are typically 40-60 minutes. My covers are varied, heavy on Canadian content. I play guitar on most songs, but like to throw in the banjo now and again.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.