Prince Edward Island folk musician Al Tuck is in the midst of a period of unprecedented creativity.
Tuck first made a name for himself in the early ’90s when Halifax bands like Sloan, Thrush Hermit and others were being scooped up by record labels. But aside from a cordial association with Sloan’s Murderecords label for 1994’s superb Brave Last Days, Tuck was mostly left to his own devices, which led to an irregular release schedule in the 21 years that followed.
It took the singer-songwriter seven years before he released The New High Road of Song in 2001. He followed that album with Live At The Rebecca Cohn the following year. Another three years passed before Tuck dropped My Blues Away in 2005, and then it was 2009 before the release of Food For The Moon, the album that essentially marked the start of his most prolific release schedule. Two years later, Tuck released the acclaimed Under Your Shadow, followed by the equally beloved Stranger At The Wake in 2013.
In keeping with this recent tradition of releasing new music every couple of years, 2015 will indeed see the release of more new music from Tuck. Performing at Moncton’s Plan b Lounge this coming Thursday night, Tuck shares that things seem a little more right in the world these days.
“It really shouldn’t take too long to get records done, but it is not always easy to get records released and put into people’s hands,” he says. “With the help of family, I think I have figured out how to keep the somewhat natural rhythm of album releases moving forward without having it fizzle out on me.”
“We kept ourselves on a rather concise schedule while in the studio but our jobs were made so much easier thanks to the personnel we were working with. Our batting average for these 15 songs that will be on the record was definitely higher than previous studio albums. We didn’t need to do more than a couple of takes of each song before we had the final version recorded.”
Tuck says that for the making of Fair Country, due for release later this year, he took his cues and inspiration from country music’s origins.
“It tries to be a country album where possible, with pedal steel and fiddle in the instrumentation but even deeper than that, the record is quite a hodge podge of material from a variety of sources,” Tuck says.
“In addition to having written four of the songs myself as well as welcoming the contributions of my friend Alex Rettie, the album includes covers of “Always On My Mind,” the Stompin’ Tom Connors song (“To It And At It”), as well as what I would consider to be the penultimate Rita MacNeil song (“Fly Right On By”), a track that was featured on her final studio record. With this album, I wanted to be sure that I really focused on sourcing the best material first and foremost.”
What: Al Tuck
When: Thursday Jan. 15, 9 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton