Jane Ehrhardt working on new solo record

In two of four New Brunswick shows on her latest tour, Quebec-based, Moncton-born musician Jane Ehrhardt returns home for performances tonight at Octopus’s Garden in Alma and tomorrow evening at Parkindale Hall.

Ehrhardt’s continuing tour is in support of A Sleeper’s Dream, her third full-length effort. Although there is a tendency to slap the folk label on Ehrhardt’s music, there is a depth to the music that, while unquestionably drawing from folk music, also incorporates aspects of country music, jazz and more.

Ehrhardt’s shows serve as a bit of a break from working on a new record that she hopes to have ready for release in 2013.

“I have almost enough songs written for my next record,” Ehrhardt shares. “I fully plan on working on my next record between tours this coming summer.”

Of course, one of the perks of continuing to play shows while in the midst of writing new material is having the opportunity to test and refine her new songs long before she enters the recording studio.

“The process of writing for this next record is a little different than A Sleeper’s Dream in the respect that, with that record, I had formed my band and then we made the record and toured after. We have the experience of a couple of years of touring together under our belts going into the making of my next record so it has been great having the opportunity to try out the new material live. It helps you quickly figure out what works and what might not work so well.”

Ehrhardt shares that, so far, soul music is becoming a dominant influence in her new songs. While she can’t quite put her finger on what lead her down that road, she is more than happy to let her songs lead her, wherever they may take her.

“The new songs I am writing are a little less country and are showing more of a soul and blues influence than anything else,” she says. “It is hard to say what exactly led me down this path but the songs simply started sounding like this without me really being able to put my finger on why that is.”

Ehrhardt’s interest in music began while she was still in junior high school, joining her first band and becoming a regular at many of the city’s all-ages shows. She stopped playing music for a short period of time after enrolling in university before deciding to pick the guitar up again and pursue a career in music.

In addition to her solo work, Ehrhardt has also been performing as a musician with other bands. Though the spotlight is not directly on her in projects like Les Motherfolkers, she uses the experiences to help her solo work move forward. She admits that she has no problem with not always being the centre of attention.

“I truly enjoy accompanying other people and playing as a part of other bands,” she shares. “Playing with others give me the chance to work on refining song arrangements while also being given the opportunity to work on my skills as a musician. The pressure is off in some ways when I am performing with others and that is just fine with me.”

Article published in June 15, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript