A night of music, laughs at Fraser Auditorium in Sudbury

Lunch At Allen's performers Murray McLauchlan (left), Cindy Church, Ian Thomas and Marc Jordan will play the Fraser Auditorium on Dec. 16. Submitted Photo

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There was a time when Marc Jordan, the writer of Marina Del Ray, Rhythm Of My Heart and many other songs, didn’t enjoy performing on stage.

Today, it’s different for the music veteran, who returns with his friends in Lunch At Allen’s for a Dec. 16 show at the Fraser Auditorium in Sudbury.

It’s part launch of a 10-city tour by the foursome of Jordan, Murray McLaughlin, Ian Thomas and Cindy Church. Over his long career, Jordan has been a solo recording artist, as well as a songwriter for a long list of others that includes Rod Stewart, Bonnie Raitt, Cher, Olivia Newton-John and Shawn Colvin.

But when he was starting out, “it was all about me, and I never actually enjoyed playing,” Jordan said.

It wasn’t until he was older that he realized performing was about the audience and not about himself.

“And then, I started to love playing, as soon as I got out of my own way,” Jordan said. “Music is that thing that is a part of people’s lives, at a certain point, and in their lives.”

When a songwriter can tap into that connection with listeners, it’s a “fantastic life,” Jordan said.

More than a dozen years and five albums after its first show, Lunch At Allen’s is still going strong.

“It’s just one of those cool things where it just grows organically,” Jordan said.

The group was born when McLaughlin was asked to do a songwriter’s circle. He said he would, but only if he could pick the songwriters and they could play like a band instead each just taking turns performing while the others listened.

He pitched the idea to Thomas and Jordan during a lunch at Allen’s Restaurant in Toronto, and Church, a singer-songwriter and member of the group Quartet, was asked to join in. Jordan said the four of them did that show, which was expected to be just a one-off performance, and an agent came up after and said he could book more shows.

They agreed and “it never stopped from there,” Jordan said.

He said the four members enjoy each other’s company more and more as the years go by.

Another pleasure Lunch At Allen’s provides is the chance to be a “sideman” on stage while playing on each other’s songs, Jordan said.

“It’s a real different mindset and headspace,” he said. “It’s quite lovely.”

The five albums released by Lunch At Allen’s include Zuzu’s Petals, a 2012 Christmas album, and a few of its songs are likely to make the play list for the upcoming concerts, Jordan said.

Jordan said he believes the album came about because Lunch At Allen’s didn’t have original holiday songs to perform when it toured during the Christmas season.

“We thought, ‘Well, why don’t we write some?’”That’s what we do.”

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

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If you go

Lunch at Allen’s

Lunch At Allen’s is a musical powerhouse comprising four remarkable Canadian talents: Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas.

Attending their stage show is like embarking on an intimate musical journey replete with laughter and personal anecdotes, familiar favourites and new material, fashioning an unforgettable evening’s entertainment. As a nod to the season, there’s sure to be a dash of Christmas spirit mixed in, as well.

The show takes place Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fraser Auditorium, 935 Ramsey Lake Rd.

Tickets are available at the DiBrina box office at the Sudbury Theatre Centre, by phone at 705-674-8381 and online at sudburytheatre.ca.

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