Written by Daniel Stad
Soft Focus is a Canadian westcoast musical duo that features soaring vocals and intricate guitar work in presenting songs from a variety of genres including folk, pop, Broadway, and soft rock.
Steve Britten was born in the first half of the previous century and has been playing guitar for 85 percent of the time he has been on the planet. It all started as a teenager with the strumming of a tennis racquet to the strains of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles on a hand-cranked record player. The purchase of a cheap guitar led to a life-long love affair with the instrument and participation in a succession of garage bands lured him into the belief that he had some talent--or at least the ability to ride the volume control on his amplifier. As he matured, he discovered that acoustic music was far more satisfying than heavy metal and, in celebration of his mid-life crisis, took up a number of other instruments, including mandolin, banjo, cello, harmonica, and accordion, all of which can be heard on Soft Focus' upcoming CD. He also sings background vocals and claims he has never written any songs.
“There are so many incredible songs out there that I aspire to learn and play well, written by people with much greater insight and talent than mine. I also think there’s a lot of creativity in playing covers and I know from our live performances that it gives people immense pleasure when they hear a song that reminds them of a really good period in their lives. My aim is to play those songs well and to give them some of our own special interpretation.”
Marian Buechert lends her rich, clear voice to fresh interpretations of both classic and modern songs. As a young child, she loved singing and would launch into a tune on the slightest excuse.
“In primary school, the other kids would bring their favourite toy or book for Show and Tell. I got up and sang Snoopy’s Christmas by the Royal Guardsmen. My childhood was filled with sixties pop singles on 45 rpm records from my big sister’s collection. In my teen years, I became obsessed with opera and musicals and would play soundtrack recordings over and over, singing all the parts to shows like Camelot and Jesus Christ Superstar.”
This caused her to realize that her baritone range was shaky at best and perhaps she should concentrate on the soprano roles. Five years of voice training under teacher Karyn Way confirmed this suspicion and left Marian smitten with performing. Today, folk music, both contemporary and traditional, is her musical passion.
“There's a diversity of subject and depth of storytelling in folk music that I find fascinating.”
Steve and Marian have been performing together since 1999. In 2007, they released their first CD, Tunes in a Paper Bag. The CD includes favourites from their live performances such as "The Roses of Eyam," "Rise Again," "Country Roads," and "From the Lambing to the Wool."
|< Prev||Next >|