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Wednesday, 13 November 2013 16:48

Swift Current native wins national award

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Those in Swift Current and southwest Saskatchewan who have heard singer Keith Kitchen play know the guy is loaded with talent as a singer and songwriter.


Don’t take anecdotal evidence as your only judge. Kitchen won the Folk/Roots Song Of The Year at the 2013 Covenant Awards for his song Our Cozy Apartment from his 2012 CD Restless.
The Gospel Music Association of Canada’s 35th Annual Covenant Awards were held Nov. 6 at the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ontario. Kitchen was there to accept the award.
“I wasn’t surprised at the nomination, not a lot of artists submitting into the Folk/Roots category, but I was surprised that I won,” explains Kitchen who was also nominated in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
“Awards are a lot like cotton candy. They’re nice and sweet, but there’s no nutritional value to them. Ministering and dealing with people, that’s meaningful. Awards are like icing on the cake; it’s a nice pat on the back.”
The song Our Cozy Apartment itself meant a lot to him as it was a personal song which hit home on many levels. Kitchen had a friend who was having a few ripples in his marriage.
Kitchen counselled him and was able to be a shoulder to lean on. Kitchen’s friend said he felt he and his wife were growing apart after having children and moving into a house from their old apartment. So, Kitchen had this on his mind one day as he went to a wedding.
“I used to be a (full time)youth pastor and one of the girls I had taught was getting married and it was a joyous occasion,” explains Kitchen. “But then, I felt this overwhelming sense of grief. There’s school and it’s been crazy on the road. I thought of my wife (Ruth) and I thought back as we lived in an apartment. It was the two of us, but we had each other.”
He wrote the song with those people close to him on his mind as he longed for less stressful and complicated times. The song seemed to resonate with a lot of people as he notes it definitely gets a major reaction from concert goers. There was one memorable moment when he had played the song live for one of the first times.
“It was in Sylvan Lake, Alberta  and I’ll never forget that moment on stage, I was playing Our Cozy Apartment  and I noticed this woman sitting with her husband and she put her head on his shoulder and they looked sad ... I choked up,” explains Kitchen.
While he doesn’t want to diminish the award, he says it’s just an object. What he gets excited about are the moments when he is able to make a connection to people and for people to make a connection with God and strengthen their faith.
He is willing to go the extra mile to have people connect to him and his music. Kitchen tours across Canada doing his faith-based shows.
Kitchen doesn’t think of his performances as a gospel-type show. He thinks of himself as a Christian who makes music and his songs have a faith base to them.
Despite the fact, it may be easier to live near a major airport, he maintains Swift Current as his base.
“Swift Current is a slower pace of life. Doing this full time, we like Swift Current. It’s nice to come home and just be me,” says Kitchen. “There’s a growing music community here. Blenders has brought some really good music to come in. I just fly under the radar.”
His CD efforts include Saturday (2003), Broomtree (2007), Rumours of Light (2010) and Restless (2012).
Kitchen will be part of a big show at the East Side Church of God Nov. 27 when he will perform the Art and Illusion Show with his friends Derek Selinger (illusionist), and Michael Ellis. Kitchen says Selinger will be doing a lot of sleight-of-hand type tricks which he thinks are “dazzling.” The show starts at 7 p.m.
The show will be entertaining, but also have a strong message of faith. Kitchen says to try and get tickets fast as they are close to being gone. Phone the church at 306-773-4889.
Also, visit Kitchen’s website at www.keithkitchenmusic.com or his Facebook page at: /keithkitchen music.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor