Stacey Dowswell is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter. Her music is an eclectic and innovative mix of folk, jazz, and country that capitalizes on her dramatic flair and love of literature. The influence of a wide range of sources from Billie Holiday to St. Vincent is apparent as her lyrics and non-standard tunings establish grooves that support a voice that can soar or soothe as the moment requires.
Born and raised on and off stages in Sarnia, Ontario, Stacey was born the daughter of musicians. Her earliest memories include tap dancing to Queen and David Bowie on a plank, jamming on the mandolin with local players, and hiding the family's Willie Nelson records on Sunday mornings. Music was not just a part of her life, it was one of its pillars.
A love of the theatre and a drive to innovate coloured her later years at home and inspired her to take a more dramatic direction to her own music. She adopted Jeff Buckley and Ani Difranco as unknowing mentors; her idols were Tom Waits and Jimmy Page. Her love of the theatre put storytelling and performance in the gaps.
But we all grow up, and Stacey did for a time. Moving away from her roots to Toronto in 1999, work and family dominated the years that followed. But after a 14 year hiatus Stacey has re-emerged to grace Toronto’s smaller stages with her unique take on the world around her.
When asked about her music today, she's hesitant to put a description to it. Others have been quick to suggest "angry Joni", or "chick Damien Rice", or even "acoustic St. Vincent". But to her it's tap dancing to Life on Mars and (reluctantly) admitting to an admiration for Willie Nelson. It's the drive to capably cover Lover, You Should'a Come Over and the thrill of performing Sister Robert Anne's solo in Nunsense. Mostly, though, it's a decade of space, and a return to passion.