Arts & Entertainment

Old Man Luedecke fun for folk fans

 | November 23, 2012

On a chilly autumn day there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch and plunging into a good folk album. Old Man Luedecke’s Tender is the Night is the perfect accompaniment to a warm fireplace and a hot whiskey.

Old Man Luedecke, who is really Chris Luedecke and not that old, is a folk artist from Chester, Nova Scotia. A Juno Award-winning musician, Old Man Luedecke has been pleasing fans coast to coast, and internationally, with his playful music.

Luedecke grew up listening to his dad’s old country records and took up the banjo, his first stringed instrument, after university. He also plays piano, clarinet, and guitar among other instruments. His signature sound is the banjo though, something he says he was particularly drawn to. “I listened to Neil Young tapes . . . and I liked the sound of it (the banjo),” says Luedecke. “I bought a banjo and wanted to play.”

Tender is the Night is Old Man Luedecke’s sixth album, following 2011’s Sing All About It. While the album title is an ode to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel by the same name, there are no allusions to it within the songs themselves. Luedecke says the phrase inspired him the same way he believes it inspired Fitzerald.

Tender is the Night was a milestone for Luedecke. The album was produced in Nashville, Tennessee by Tim O’Brien, the famous bluegrass artist and a hero of Luedecke’s. For Luedecke, the track that stands out on this album is the “Song for Ian Tyson,” a tribute to one of his favourite artists. Luedecke says the song was inspired by “Four Strong Winds,” an Ian & Sylvia classic that was made into a biography written by John Einarson.

“Ian Tyson is a total cowboy legend,” says Luedecke, so as a tribute, he “wrote a bona fide cowboy song.”

The album has earned Luedecke popular acclaim and he’ll be busy touring for the next few months in the United States and eastern Canada. When asked what the one thing is that he never leaves home without when he goes on tour, Luedecke explained that he has no talisman but he always makes sure he has a folding knife (for fruit) and a corkscrew.

Whether you’re in the mood for an East Coast classic, like “Little Stream of Whiskey”—be sure to check out the music video on YouTube—or you’re craving something a little more biblical, like “Jonah & The Whale,” Old Man Luedecke’s Tender is the Night has something for every folk fan.

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