I don’t know what the other high schools in Pictou County were doing in the late 80s, but West Pictou District High was busy hosting future recording artists, George Canyon, Dave Gunning, JD Fortune, and this week’s installment of the Weekend Name Drop. Meet Karen Corbin.
Name: Karen Corbin
Creative field: Singer, Musician, Songwriter
Location: Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada
Best known for: her dance hit, “High on Love” (1998); two-time East Coast Music Awards nominee (1997/1998); Executive Assistant for George Canyon
My connection: I attended West Pictou District High School with Karen, in Lyons Brook, Nova Scotia. By the end of my time there, I fancied myself to be a half-decent guitar player, but it wasn’t until the night of our graduation ceremonies that I learned Karen was one of the real musicians in our group. I hold a fond memory of her playing piano quietly in the hall after, and of our brief conversation that night. Karen went on to attend St Francis Xavier University with me as well. Shortly after I moved to New Zealand, in 1997, my parents sent me a CD of Pictou County musicians including Karen and her song, She’s Called the Bluenose. After reconnecting on Facebook, I learned of Karen’s dance hits in the 90s, her promotional activities for fellow former West Pictou Wildcat, George Canyon, and her recent release of her own Celtic/Folk CD.
Inspiration for this writer: Karen’s a lovely person with a passion for music that has spanned her entire life, even with multiple career and location changes. She’s currently back living in Pictou County which makes me envious, and she has established herself full-time in the music business as George Canyon’s executive assistant despite the fact that he now operates out of Alberta. What I love about Karen’s story (which you can read more about in her article with the New Glasgow News), is that she has maintained her focus on family and fun and that she has continued to pursue her own musical aspirations even while supporting someone else’s.
Why you should check her out and share with others: I suspect that, even if I knew of Karen’s success in the world of dance music, I would not have been interested enough to recommend her to others – purely because of my musical tastes. However, with her latest CD, she has created something genuinely appealing to me and something which I think would appeal to many of my readers. Ready for the Storm is a beautiful treatment of some traditional Celtic folk songs, including a lovely rendition of Wild Mountain Thyme with her sister, Cheryl. Keeping with that theme of family and Pictou County connections, Karen co-wrote Hector and Betsey with her mother and George Canyon. In fact, all of Ready for the Storm was produced by Canyon at his ranch in Alberta.
Sample of work:
Listen to Karen, herself, in my favourite track from her CD, Ready for the Storm: