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Deanna Knight's new album is a wellspring of goodwill

'I think one of my strongest messages is that we all have this unique, beautiful spark inside,': Singer-songwriter Deanna Knight will launch her second album Every Little Spark at a record concert and cabaret on May 24 at the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons.
Deanna Knight’s forthcoming sophomore album reflects her belief in the transforming power of music.

One of the Sunshine Coast’s most accomplished performers and impresarios will this month release 10 dramatically diverse music tracks with some big ideas in common: gratitude, joy, and hope. 

“I think one of my strongest messages is that we all have this unique, beautiful spark inside,” said singer-songwriter Deanna Knight, who will launch her second album Every Little Spark at a record concert and cabaret on May 24 at the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons. A second cabaret will follow two days later at the St. James Community Square in Kitsilano.  

She is an emphatic believer in music’s healing power. “We can support and encourage it and help it blossom into the world, to create more joy and goodness and happiness and healing,” she explained. 

Knight is the producer of the regular Soulshine Garden Concert Series at the Secret Beach Bed and Breakfast. She became its proprietor after moving to the Coast in 2017.  

She is now in her third decade of a musical career that has included the Gypsy-swing ensemble Hot Club Of Mars, her “genre-fluid” Deanna Knight Tree-O, and the Grateful Dead tribute band GD/BC, which carries on the spirit of her earlier work with the popular ‘90s Canadian jam band The Fat Cats. Her first album, Shadow of a Star, came out in 2001. 

Despite her crowded musical calendar, new songs “came through loud and clear,” she recalled, “so I thought I best honour them.”  

At the time of the 2020 pandemic shutdown, Knight had penned five unreleased solo tunes. She picked up her ukulele and composed another three. Once she reached 10, “it was time to honour them with proper recording and beautiful musicians.” 

She laid down the tracks in early 2023 at Toronto’s Union Sound with co-producer and guitarist Les Cooper and an all-star cast of keyboardist Simon Kendall, bassist George Koller, drummer Davide DiRenzo and Grammy and Juno-nominated arranger and multi-instrumentalist Drew Jurecka. 

“I heard these songs with lush soundscapes, some of them kind of cinematic, some just having a really lush soundscape to support and fully realize what was going on in my brain,” Knight said. She refers to the album’s second track as her James Bond theme song: Knight’s mellow voice carries “How Do We Love,” an extravagantly orchestrated power ballad. “I will shed my tears when the well is dry / I will walk on fire when the heat is high,” she sings, “I will share my light when it feels alright.” 

The album provides a survey of Knight’s stylistic passions. Immediately after the Bond number, a dulcet sax leads into “Feed Your Heart,” a swing ballad written as a love letter to the planet. In “All the Good,” Knight lets loose with a folk anthem about relinquishing materialism; the gentle grooves of “Sad Mad Magnificence” mellow things out. The finale, “Forever Together Apart,” is a bittersweet tango that exalts love and longing: “Here in our solace — together we stand / Visions are glowing — sparks in our hands.” 

“The vulnerable singer-songwriter is not a comfortable place for me,” said Knight. “I knew that in order to get this record out of me into the world I was going to need to be held accountable outside of myself.” She hired an accountability coach. They talked every Tuesday for 18 months until she was in the recording studio. 

The album release concert on May 24 will include cabaret-style performances by Anna Lumiere, Graham Ord, Rae Armour, Budge Schachte, Karen Graves, Lowry Olafson and the Rhythm City Swing Dancers. The show is the finishing touch on a months-long publicity campaign that included a music video (Blessed to Witness) shot in Cliff Gilker Park by photographer Mark Benson. 

For Knight, the demands of self-promotion are outweighed by a clear sense of purpose. “It’s so easy to be overwhelmed with all the sadness that is hammered into us in various ways,” she said. “But there are so many answers out there for many of the issues that we are facing. I want to be part of that positive change and I want my music to be part of the solution.” 

Tickets for Knight’s upcoming Record Release Concert and Cabaret are available for purchase online by browsing to Her forthcoming album will be available from online retailers, streaming platforms and her website.