Live at The Hedges, (The Village of) Durham, Ontario
His poker face belies the passion of his lyrics. “Poker Face” belies the passion of its lyrics. “Nowhere Fast” uses a rowboat as an allegory of life. Acapella, or accompanying himself on a piano, David Sereda sings the he has a “naked need to share.”
One of the things Sereda shared was the move from Toronto to Owen Sound. His first song written after that move was in praise of long-range commuting. But certain aspects of his new home captured him. When he discovered the beauty of a ‘see-your-breath’ evening, he knew it needed a musical.
Demonstrating his sense of humor, Sereda reminisced about Edmonton where snow forts melted by Holloween but still, children dressed as ghosts had to wear a parka under their costume. One of his songs about winter went like this: “Some day I’d like to go to a place where they have no word for snow.”
“It’s a Miracle When Lovers Meet” has good lyrics. “Spring” has a clever line, stating that “trees are ripe with birds that sing.” Sereda’s tenor voice fit the spacious Victorian living room of Durham bookseller Frederick Turner. His first set appropriately ended with a wistful song about Toronto.
Half way through the program Sereda confessed that he is a composer of musicals. He promptly demonstrated his turn of mind on musicals by singing “I’m Trapping for Stilettos for My Achilles Heel.”
Sereda’s passion blossomed in his love songs, even into gratuitous sensuality in the song “I wanna kiss you now, kiss you naked.” He has ‘bus’ songs, songs written on the bus as he travels between Toronto and Owen Sound.
His response to 9-11 was to go into the garden to work because ”this way the terrorists don’t win: I was not terrified.” This song, like several others he sang, has the structure of popular music but not the sound: Sereda makes them sound like songs from musicals.
When his passion carried onto the piano, Sereda tended to drown out his voice. When he picked up a dulcimer with four strings, he pointed out that historically it is already mentioned in the Old Testament.
Turning to modern times, Sereda sang a song about returning from a holiday, “Sand on My Sheet, Snow in the Street.” The holiday might have been all right, but now his lover is missing! Loss and sadness enter his work throughout. “Isn’t it Good to Be Here” is a sad reminiscing of leaving behind much that is wrong.
Closing the evening with a spiritual, Sereda prefaced the song that, although you can get choked up, you cannot sing and cry at the same time. He is a consummate entertainer. He exposes his vulnerabilities and gets away with his in-your-face humanity though the strength of his talent. It was a pleasure to spend an evening with David Sereda.