Carving out a musical niche these days seems more a matter of video and online presence, social media fanfare and digital delivery. For one Saskatchewan singer-songwriter, it’s about plying the trade in a traditional way – a rock-solid work ethics, strong song craft, and a performance style and presence that’s heartwarming. It’s all about having friends. 

That’s the story with Brian Paul DG, Saskatoon based singer-songwriter who will be performing this Thursday at the Carlton Trail Ski Club just north of Dixon. The Clubhouse has become an increasingly popular venue for folk and blues music. Brian Paul will be bringing his home crafted tunes on Thursday with the doors opening at 7:30 and the show at 8 pm.  

To pin down Brian Paul’s music is a tall task. It’s simultaneously thought-provoking, uplifting, even whimsical at times. It’s all part of the creative process for the veteran songsmith. 

“Like every artist, I wiggle my way out of every box that I’m put into,” Brian Paul muses. “Heart songs for children of all ages is one way of describing them.” 

He confesses that of late he’s begun to return to earlier folk and roots covers that have driven the spirit of his music for years.  

“I’ve been weaving those kinds of songs into my originals recently and just been enjoying acknowledging the tradition of songwriters I feel I’m a part of. They’re songs by people like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, John Prine, Willie Nelson. Storytelling is always a theme in there.” 

Bruce Cockburn, Jackson Browne, and Leonard Cohen also number among those influences. Brian Paul’s songs may reflect those spirits, but they’re never expressly derivative, never copies.  

“When I write a song, it’s almost like it’s coming from a place that I almost feel hasn’t been experienced yet. That’s what’s exciting for me about writing a song is tht I actually feel like I’m making something new.” 

It’s an inescapable irony that everything he creates is somehow influenced by what’s already been, he ponders. Such is the creative conundrum of the songwriter.   

An amazingly prolific songwriter, Brian Paul has put together an ambitious project – a trio of albums, each connected thematically but unique in its approach. Act 3 of the On Our Own Together trilogy will be released online on June 6, but Brian Paul will have some CDs of the latest offering, pre-stream, at the Thursday concert, so bring along a little extra cash. 

“It was a great but mammoth project. Each song talks to the album theme, and each of the three albums is a version of the “On Our Own Together” theme. The first one is simply me, my guitar with some friends who read poetry with instrumental background. The second leads into songs together with bandmates, and the last is sort of a heavenly choir sound with uplifting themes. 

It’s sort of a hell/purgatory/heaven metaphor,” he says reflecting on the direction to trio of works has taken.  

Each of his albums goes under the artist name Brian Paul DG and Friends. For him, whether he’s busking or on a concert stage, it’s always been about those musical friends and the contribution they make to each other’s lives and work, and the contribution the collective makes to soulful music.  

Catch the latest, along with some classics, from Brian Paul DG at the concert on Thursday. For tickets, email or text Brian Grest at (306) 231-8284.