Couple to perform at ECMAs gala with respective bands - Meg Warren of Repartee and Tom Power of The Dardanelles will be onstage Sunday at showcase event in Halifax

Published on March 9, 2013
Meg Warren of Repartee and Tom Power of The Dardanelles
Tara Bradbury photos

They’ve got a story fit for the big screen: two lovers, both musicians — one in a pop band, the other, a traditional group — separated by geography, but united by their simple desire to make people dance.

For Meg Warren of Repartee and Tom Power of the Dardanelles, their professional and personal lives intersect when it comes to learning from each other.

“I want to say that we opened up each other’s mind to further appreciating different styles of music,” Power said. “I definitely would not have an appreciation for Britney Spears or Rhianna or Dragonette or some other pop bands the way I do. A lot of my friends in the trad music world say, ‘Why do you know about that stuff?’ and I know about it because of Meg.”

The pair met at Memorial University’s school of music — Power has a minor in music, while Warren took music as a major.

Both have classical backgrounds and a love of giving an energetic live show.

These days, Warren lives in St. John’s and Power is based in Toronto, where he works on CBC Radio as host of “Deep Roots,” and they take advantage of events such as East Coast Music Week to spend time together as much as promote their music.

This year, they’ll also share the stage at the ECMA awards gala, since Repartee and The Dardanelles are the only two acts from Newfoundland and Labrador chosen to perform.

Other performers include Classified, David Myles, Rose Cousins, Jimmy Rankin, Natalie McMaster, Ashley MacIsaac and The Barra MacNeils.

“Meg called me and she said, ‘Tom, I’ve got really great news! (Repartee) got asked to play the gala!’ I said, ‘That’s amazing. Oh my God!’” Power said. “We celebrated on the phone and then four hours later I called her and said, ‘Meg, great news! We’re going to play the gala!’ It was a lovely day for the two of us.”

Both Repartee and The Dardanelles were nominated for ECMAs this year: The Dardanelles were beaten by The Once for Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year, presented Thursday night, and are still vying for the Group Recording of the Year award, to be presented at the gala.

Repartee lost the Rising Star Recording of the Year award to Ben Caplan.

A total of 13 awards have been presented so far, and although a number of local acts were nominated, The Once is the only one to win.

Traditional Instrumental Recording of the Year went to Natalie McMaster for “Cape Breton Girl,” Roots/Traditional Solo Recording of the Year went to Tim Chaisson for “The Other Side,” Pop Recording of the Year was presented to Jenn Grant for “The Beautiful Wild,” Jazz Recording of the Year went to Joel Miller for “Swim” and Folk Recording of the Year was given to Rose Cousins for “We Have Made a Spark.”

English Words took the award for Electronic Recording of the Year for “Red Potion,” African-Canadian Recording of the Year went to Cam Smith for “Ocean Blue” and Aboriginal Recording of the Year was presented to Lone Cloud for “We Are Medicine People.”

Three out of the five nominees in the Country Recording of the Year category were Newfoundlanders (The Keats, Tonya Kennedy and The Heavy Horses), but the award went to RyLee Madison for “Where Does the Time Go.”

Nova Scotia’s Charlie A’Court won two awards: Blues Recording of the Year and R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for his album “Triumph and Disaster,” which was produced and co-written by local artist Chris Kirby.

The awards were presented at various showcases in hotels, bars, cafes and theatres around downtown Halifax, the shows going on until the wee hours of the morning.

ECMA week continues today with the industry awards brunch, as well as a children’s showcase, francophone stage, rap/hip-hop stage and various seminars and networking events.

Check for regular updates, photos and videos from the ECMAs.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury