Darcy Windover's present tour with Kiefer Sutherland was a classic case of being in the right place at the right time.
The Toronto-based roots musician is opening for The Kiefer Sutherland Band on its tour of Western Canada which includes a stop at the Kelowna Community Theatre, Tuesday.
"My band and I played a covers gig every Sunday night at a place called Opera Bobs in the west end of Toronto," Windover explained in a phone interview from Saskatoon, Friday. "Kiefer was out one night enjoying himself and I threw in some of my originals, as I do every show. We got to talking and he said, 'gee, I really love your originals,' and he asked me to go out on tour with him. So here we are... it's quite an honour."
Windover has played all across Canada during his lengthy career as an independent musician, but this time, he's traveling on a tour bus.
He recently released his sophomore album, "Cope," which features the single, "How to Be Lonely." He's donating all proceeds from the single to Cam's Kids, a not-for-profit charity that offers support for youth struggling with anxiety.
The title came from a conversation he had with his mother, who was near the end of her own journey.
"Mom was living in assisted living, but due to her health, she couldn't live there anymore. We made the difficult decision to move her to long-term care, five minutes from where I live. I figure, great, she's settled, I'm five minutes away and I will see her in the morning. Just as I'm leaving, she said, 'I guess this is how to be lonely.
"The tune popped into my head, those words came to the forefront and the song wrote itself. The mood of the album was influenced by that one song."
Windover grew up in the hockey-crazed city of Sarnia, Ont. where he divided his teenage years between playing in a Beatles cover band with his brother and junior C hockey (the equivalency of the KIJHL league.) Work took him to the bright lights of Toronto, but his present band includes two members who are originally from his hometown.
For the gig in Kelowna, he's playing solo, but his friend Naomi Shore will join him on stage as several of the songs from "Cope" are duets.
"The tone of the album is not necessarily somber, it has a presence to it, an atmospheric quality achieved by my petal steel player, Kevin Neal, who helped create that amazing quality. Another song on the album, 'Simple Words,' CBC was kind enough to name as their song of the week. That was very nice."
Although he cut his chops doing Beatles' songs, his other musical influences include Neil Young, The Rolling Stones and Blue Rodeo.
He grew up in a family of four — all boys. All were musical and all four followed the footsteps of their parents and pursued careers in teaching. Windover's day job is a middle school guidance counsellor and he draws inspiration from his students, but has never individually referenced any of them in his song writing.
He's played everywhere in the country, except the Arctic, and enjoys the reception he's received. Opening for The Kiefer Sutherland Band is definitely a career highlight, he said.
"Canada is a great, beautiful country. I love the Okanagan and look forward to seeing Kelowna again. The one thing we need to work on as a country is for our Indigenous people of Canada, that's the big thing that needs to be done."
The Kiefer Sutherland Band, with special guest Darcy Windover, are at the Kelowna Community Theatre, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets visit: selectyourtickets.com
On the net: darcywindover.com