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Eliza Moore performing at the Parkview in Canton last month. Photo: Claire Woodcock
Eliza Moore performing at the Parkview in Canton last month. Photo: Claire Woodcock

For musician Eliza Moore, North Country a place "to come back to"

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Fiddler, singer and songwriter Eliza Moore is making a name for herself in her new home of Montreal. But Moore has spent much of her life in the North Country and still spends every summer in the Thousand Islands.

Moore's new EP out called "Everything To Me." Moore will perform at the Parkview in Canton on Saturday night at 7:30 pm. Her performance will be followed by music from DJ Tapatio (aka NCPR's David Sommerstein). Claire Woodcock stopped by a show Moore played last month, also at the Parkview.

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Claire Woodcock
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Eliza Moore has just found a babysitter for her son, so she's a little harried. She's also pregnant, but she beelines right in and says, "Okay, let's warm up!"

The singer-songwriter lives in Montreal, but she says that there's a totally different vibe here in the North Country. She's had ties to the St. Lawrence River for years. So this show is sort of a homecoming.

Eliza Moore. Photo: <a href="http://elizamoore.com/photos/">ElizaMoore.com</a>
Eliza Moore. Photo: ElizaMoore.com
"There's so much love, there's so much support here," Moore says. "It's so unique in that and it's a place you do want to come back to because it makes you feel so a part of the community."

Eliza's music has taken her everywhere from Vermont and New York City, to Ireland and London. She says that the places she's visited have added a little something extra to her music: "Every song is so different and comes from a slightly different space."

Eliza grew up singing early music in choruses. She says that her ear is trained to hear multiple voices as they come together. So last fall's EP, "Everything to Me," is a little different than what she's used to.

"It's a little bit more into the traditional singer/songwriter realm, where it's more cordial and it's more focused on the specific melodic line, and the timbre of the voice is very important," Moore says.

In her earlier works, Eliza would add maybe three vocal harmonies over a chorus. But her new EP is stripped down. And Eliza says it was hard for her to just let the melody reign.

"It feels almost naked to do that at first for me, it felt very uncomfortable," she says. "But I really feel the power of that as well, but I think to be able to own the melody and to be able to say this is it this is my voice and really feel it."

The first half of Eliza's set feels very intimate and personal. Sean O'Brien, sitting by the bar, says her music "creates the useful illusion that happens at any great concert, which is that you are in one of the only places there is to be in the world."

After a brief intermission, Eliza dips back into what she's really known for: her old-time fiddling. When she breaks out her fiddle, she has everyone on their feet and dancing. She says that she picked up the fiddle back in college.

"You know when you want to be in college and in jam bands instead?" Moore asks. "I was enjoying classical music but I realized I didn't really enjoy listening to technical classical music. It didn't do much for me. I was like, I don't want to get more technical or more complicated, I just want to get more feel and more vibe."

Everett Smith, who plays banjo in the band, says that he's been playing with Eliza for years: "Really, Eliza is just a wonderful person to play with. She's just kind of magical."

Eliza says that the thing with music is that there's certainly no guarantee that you are going to get super successful. "You just have to do it because you love it," she says. "It's just got to be in your heart. If it is, just go for it and play what's in there and let it out."

At the end of her set, she asks the audience to join her in song. In this moment, it feels like we're all together.

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