NOTE TO TICKET PURCHASERS:
The ‘Anchor’s Up Tour’ will feature individual sets of music from three of Atlantic Canada’s most celebrated folk acts as they bring their songs and stories across the country.
Fortunate Ones is a JUNO-nominated contemporary folk duo from Newfoundland. With lush harmonies rising out of warm acoustic sounds, their latest album, That Was You and Me (2022), finds Fortunate Ones reflecting on life, loss, and hard times, and ultimately choosing love.
Old Man Luedecke is the recording and performing name of two-time JUNO award-winning songwriter Chris Luedecke. Known for his high energy banjo driven stompers, touching guitar ballads and dry humorous stories, Luedecke has been successfully exporting his brand of high and lowbrow roots for fifteen years.
The Once deliver thoughtful and playful songs soaked with the poetic charm and sunny sadness of the trio’s collective disposition. Well known for its haunting interpretations of traditional music, The Once has bloomed a sound that represents their up-springing inner artistry while their roots dig ever deeper into their idolized island of Newfoundland.
And Catherine Allan and Andrew O’Brien know a lot about what it takes to make a good partnership. Their debut album, The Bliss was nominated for a JUNO Award, garnered two #1 singles on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20, won the 2016 “Rising Star” ECMA, the 2015 “Vocal Group” Canadian Folk Music Award, and four 2015 Music Newfoundland and Labrador Awards.
Old Man Luedeckeoldmanluedecke.com/
Easy Money picks up where Old Man Luedecke’s award winning, and most successful release to date, Domestic Eccentric (2015), leaves off: four years farther down the road, dreaming about his ship coming in, still a parent but now grappling with the newness of middle age, dad jokes, love for an abiding partner, the death of a parent, along with some calypso-feeling local Nova Scotia history thrown in for good measure.
Composition and recording were both begun at the Banff Centre’s songwriter-in-residence program. It was there that Luedecke met the album’s producer Howard Bilerman of Montreal’s famed Hotel2Tango studio where the album was eventually recorded. The two hit it off when Luedecke composed “Easy Money” on the tracking floor on the first day of the program. Desperate for something worthy to use in his recording time, Luedecke channeled a traditional Christmas number he knew from a Harry Belafonte record and sang largely improvised verses into a winning tune that is sure to be a modern classic: “Oh yes I need it, Oh yes I want it, I dream about easy, I dream about Easy money.” Don’t we all.
The further nine new original compositions and two covers run a modern storytelling line from the fifties folk and calypso boom into the everyday of tangible middle life. Guest appearances by long-tme collaborator and Grammy award-winning Tim O’Brien, Afie Jurvanen of Bahamas, and Fats Kaplin (Jack White, John Prine) add piquant accents to the impeccable playing of Luedecke and a crack Montreal studio band of Mike O’Brien, Joshua Toal and Jamie Thompson.
The album begins with three upbeat incantations of what is surely the beginnings of a mid-life crisis (Dad Jokes? Wakeup Call, come on!) then moves to 2 songs musing about death; both inspired in part and in different ways, by the passing of Luedecke’s father, the passing of Leonard Cohen and current politics and the death of truth. There are two island-themed numbers that imagine a laid-back life in the local un-tropical paradise of the Canadian Maritimes. Then comes a country song with kill er fiddling and harmony singing by Tim O’Brien, a dance number of frightful worry and then a cover of Nana Mouskouri’s French language cover of Bob Dylan’s topical apocalyptic plaint, “Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”. This is followed by a traditional sea chanty about a mermaid and a shipwreck. The album closer, “I Skipped a Stone”, is the most beautiful song about hoping your wife will pick up the phone. The song is made all the sweeter by the special appearance of Bahamas’ playing and singing, to close out Luedecke’s sixth full length studio album.
Old Man Luedecke is the recording and performing name of Christopher Luedecke, 2 time JUNO and multi East Coast Music award-winner, and Polaris Prize nominee of Chester Nova Scotia. Since 2004 he has travelled the world playing festivals, theatres and clubs. He delights his audiences with his heart-felt command of the stage. Plus, his inspired banjo playing and wry storytelling cut to the heart of normal/extraordinary experience itself.
Born and raised in Toronto, Luedecke followed Thoreauvian and romantic notions to Canada’s Yukon where he fell in love and started composing folk songs with a banjo. Since 2005, he has lived rurally on the south shore of Nova Scotia in Canada’s music-rich Maritime provinces. He has had major appearances at Canadian, Australian and UK festivals and has performed with the likes of Feist, Bahamas, Tim O’Brien and Rose Cousins. He has built a name and a following that has been uncompromisingly unique and is now firmly established in the top echelon of Canadian folk artists.
Within the nine songs on their new album Time Enough, The Once offer some of the most vulnerable and honest material of their career. The up-tempo album opener, “I Can’t Live Without You,” reflects on women battling with self-image issues and offers wisened words to be the positive change in their own lives. The gritty guitar driven “Before The Fall” succumbs to the notion that we must accept our past and use those memories to grow. Riff rocker “Any Other Way” reflects the fact that true love accepts us at our worst but insists we do the work to be our best selves to keep it together.
On this, their fourth studio album, the band stays true to the root strength of their harmony driven sound, while extending the borders into fresh yet familiar territory. They craft a sonically understated, but emotionally fulsome sound that accomplishes what they’ve always done so well: stun listeners with what Amelia Curran calls “perfect vocal harmonies, thick enough to stand on.”
“We approached Time Enough with an open heart and on open mind. We composed apart and came together to Once-up the new material,” says lead singer Geraldine Hollett of the band’s writing process. “We are pretty tough customers so it was scary bringing so much guts to the table, but over the years we have earned and accepted one another’s trust. This album is special because of it.”
The story of The Once is one of growth, propelled by the rare chemistry that comes from a decade of writing and touring together. Their songs have been placed in international film and television, they have YouTube videos with millions of hits, and there’s a trail of trophy nominations and wins from the East Coast Music Awards, the Canadian Folk Awards, and the JUNO Awards in their wake.
Since first hitting the road in 2009, The Once has earned one of the most loyal followings in the country. Ask their fans why they love the band and watch their eyes widen as the words flow. It becomes clear that The Once ain’t regular folk. They’ve built something unique within their genre, and something rare within the fan base that keeps them growing and going strong and they do not take that fan base for granted. “We give all we got to them because we know we can’t do what we want to do if they’re not with us,” says Hollett of those who have shown endless support for the group. It was this resonance with fans that launched their career and it is this deep relationship that continues to inspire the band to travel new paths, explore new territory, and create new music.
Geraldine Hollett’s voice is a large part of the band’s ethereal sound, and there is nowhere it would sit better than in between the rhythmic and supportive voices of Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale, and the lush soundscapes they build. The trio’s instrumentation and vocals meld together like gold, building something stronger together than any one songwriter could muster alone. Their harmonies grab you by the heart, and their music melts what’s left of it.
Building on the wave of creative energy that defined their last album, Time Enough is a striking and subtle sea change for the band. Dive in, get lost, click repeat.
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