Coming up on half a decade in the music industry, you wouldn’t think two-time Juno award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Alfie Zappacosta would have to get his name out there.
He is tenaciously adapting and working in one of the many industries going through changing times, but as he puts it, he set out on his latest tour “so that everybody knows that yes, he is alive.”
“I never stopped playing, but I just thought I would kick it up a notch as far as letting people know that I’m around and see about establishing myself to continue playing for the next 20 years until I drop dead on stage singing a high note,” Zappacosta said.
He is set to perform some classic hits and lesser-known deep cuts when he visits Penticton with the help of some local talent at the Shatford Centre on Feb. 6.
According to Zappacosta, one thing led to another bringing him to the cusp of a live album release, No Avoiding Cliches, a DVD of the same name and the upcoming debut of a documentary of which he is the subject.
The documentary came about as a project for students of Emmy award-winning filmmaker Michael Jorgenson, a friend of Zappacosta’s, at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton.
“I thought the whole thing was a little much,” Zappacosta said. “(Jorgenson) convinced me that I should do this documentary. I’m really not a very vein person. The ego aspect of things really bothers me.”
Despite fears of being egotistical, Zappacosta recently saw a teaser trailer for the documentary.
“They did an incredible job,” Zappacosta said. “I guess he figured that 40 some odd years of me in this business of being, I guess you call it a Canadian icon, and seeing the the things I’ve seen, he figured I’d be a good person to pick on.”
No Avoiding Cliches is a live recording highlighting Zappacosta’s 45-year career and giving both himself and his fans a chance to delve into songs that didn’t get a spot in the limelight in the past.
“Back then record companies would take one song off an album of 12 or 13 songs and you might get a single out of that. There are many songs over all these years that are just album cuts just because they didn’t fit what radio was doing at the time doesn’t mean they weren’t good songs,” Zappacosta said.
It’s not new material, save for one song, Church Street Dip, but it’s not old material either.
“When people say to me ‘are you writing new material?’ I say there really isn’t any sense in writing new songs right now, not that I can’t, but there’s really so many songs you haven’t heard. I’d just as soon bring them out in the forefront again,” Zappacosta said.
Before he has even set foot on this tour, Zappacosta is ready to start the whole process over again, this time stripping the 12-piece band from No Avoiding Cliches, with his next project set to feature solo acoustic versions of his songs.
Tickets are $25 and are available at the Shatford Centre, online at www.offrampjazz.com, at the door, or from a Pen High music student.