An Edmonton songstress rides the rails for her first cross-country tour.
Photograph by Nicole Ashley
Travelling the country by rail may seem like a romantic notion, but, for Erica Viegas, it’s the best way to do her first music tour. Viegas, an Avenue Top 40 alumna, will travel on Via Rail to promote her second album, Unravel, as part of the Via Rail Music On Board program, which provides muscians with an affordable way to tour the country in exchange for onboard entertainment.
She’ll travel from Edmonton to Vancouver, then make her way to Toronto, playing on the train and at various stops along the way. Her Alberta shows will feature a full band but, on the road, her younger brother will accompany her on guitar.
Viegas, 28, will celebrate the release of Unravel with a show at Citadel Theatre May 9. The album, which will be released through the Edmonton singer’s website and iTunes, among other places, explores connections ranging from personal to global, with songs about Sunday family dinners and the earthquake in Haiti.
Unravel is a result of a RAWLCO radio grant that funds 20 Canadian artists a year with $10,000 each. Her first producer, Mike Lent, moved to Ontario before the album was finished, leaving Viegas to work with Russell Broom – winner of the 2012 Western Canadian Music Award‘s Producer of the Year and Engineer of the Year awards. Viegas recorded the folky-pop album in various locations, including the Matrix Hotel and a farmhouse outside of Edmonton. “It’s a fun progression, because I think as an artist I’ve changed a lot in the last two years,” says Viegas.
Viegas, who was born in Bahrain and moved to Canada at the age of three, grew up in a musical family. She released her first EP with friends. Then, when the album gained some traction, her childhood dream of singing for a living seemed like it could become a reality. Now, with a second album and a tour on the way, it seems it finally has.