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Nova Scotia’s Mo Kenney comes to Nelson

Mo Kenney is a young Nova Scotia-born singer/songwriter who will be making her way to Nelson with indie rocker Joel Plaskett on September 20 at the Capitol Theatre. Before she arrived, I caught up with her for an interview.

Q. What was the first concert you remember seeing?

The first concert I ever saw was the Moffatts. I was young I think I was eight or nine and I was mad because they didn’t sound like they did on the CD.

Q. What do you remember about your first live performance?

I remember being really scared and thinking that I didn’t want to do it. I was kind of forced into it by my guitar teacher at the time. It was a recital he had kind of convinced me to sing this song that I had written. I was really scared and really didn’t want to sing. I had a band with me and we were supposed to start the song after a couple bars and I didn’t start singing because I was too scared. I was really terrified and really self-conscious about it. I didn’t feel very good about it afterwards, but it was good I guess.

Q. You had the chance to work with Joel Plaskett on your album and now you’re on tour with him, is there anything you learned about him that you didn’t expect?

I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into it because I had never really spent anytime with him before. The first time I met him I was 17 so I remembered the way he talked about music was really neat. It was cool because he really knows what he’s talking about. There wasn’t anything really unexpected about working with him. I knew he was a wicked producer and musician so it was cool seeing him do his thing.

Q. Your debut self-titled album comes out on September 25, what was one of your favourite moments from making the album?

The first couple songs that we recorded were my favourite moments because I wasn’t really sure what the production was going to be, because I primarily do acoustic guitar and vocals. Hearing the songs were amazing. It was great to listen back after to the final product. It blew my mind. Those were probably my favourite moments.

Q. You’ve received some pretty high praise from musicians like Ron Sexsmith, how do you feel about that?

It’s kind of surreal. I don’t really think about it too much but it’s a massive compliment to hear praise from musicians that are as great as Ron and Brad Roberts. It’s kind of surreal. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.

Q. If you could collaborate with any musician living or dead who would it be and why?

It would definitely be Elliott Smith because he was kind of my inspiration for taking the kind of path that I’ve decided to take as far as songwriting goes and to be able to work on anything with him would be a dream come true. But he’s not living so it won’t happen, but it would be amazing.

by Megan Cole, Nelson Star