Wednesday night’s concert with Greg Marquis at the Reid Thompson Library felt like a homecoming gathering of sorts. Friends, family and fans of the Humboldt troubadour were welcomed with newcomers in what felt like a kitchen concert with a warm wrap around feeling. A strong contingent from St. Mary’s Villa helped to pack the house.  

Marquis travelled near and far in his youth, living the life of a musician, and that creative spirit has never left him. He returned Wednesday with a catalog of his original tunes, many of which were songs of comfort and strength in the times of adversity. 

Marquis vocals have a smooth, soothing quality to them – a mellow James Taylor kind of feel that welcomes the listener into the lyrics. Many of his songs are about people, tributes to fathers, grandfathers, and those who have had an obvious influence in his life and music. His song ‘Caroline’ was written “for all the ladies doing all the things that hold it together and get no credit.” 

These are songs that can be written only with the benefit of time and keen observation of people and circumstances throughout the years. They range from the up tempo strummer ‘It’s Just a Beautiful Day’ to intricate finger picking styles of ‘I Can Still Dream.’ 

There are nods to Saskatchewan throughout in tunes with the tale of a Manitou Beach maiden who dreams of musical stardom and the infectious ‘Going Back to Saskatchewan,’ a homegrown equivalent to Lightfoot’s ‘Alberta Bound.’ 

Marquis’ tunes a balm for the mind and spirit in troubled times. The audience was appreciative throughout his welcome return.