Luke Doucet keeps busy

Halifax-born alternative-country artist Luke Doucet is returning to the Maritimes for a slew of shows including two New Brunswick dates in Saint John and Sackville. The artist has been busy touring behind his fourth solo record, the excellent Blood’s Too Rich, released last year on Toronto label Six Shooter Records.

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In addition to a burgeoning solo career, Doucet also wears the hats of producer, lending his expertise to other artists such as wife Melissa McLelland as well as label-mate NQ Arbuckle. And when time permits, Doucet counts himself as a member of Sarah McLachlan’s backing band, with whom he has performed on and off for the past 15 years.

Doucet is currently on tour throughout Canada with Amelia Curran. The duo started their tour just a couple of weeks after Doucet returned from performing on the fifth annual Barenaked Ladies “Ships and Dip” Cruise. For those who might not be aware of the event, the BNL essentially overtake a cruise ship for five days, invite some of their favourite musicians and bands along with the paying general public and good, clean mayhem ensues. Doucet concurs, saying:

“The cruise was great! I was initially a little concerned about being trapped in a floating casino but I quickly realized the benefits of being able to see Sloan and The Weakerthans daily for a week.” Although he spends a good amount of time in Canada, Doucet’s music is spreading across the globe and has seen “Blood’s Too Rich” earn accolades from UK Newspaper The Independent as well as from author Nick Hornby who penned the novels High Fidelity and About A Boy.

Doucet clarifies the difference between the two continents by saying: “I have toured extensively in both the USA and various European countries. Incidentally, I find it easier to connect with audiences in Europe than in America but that may be simply because there are so many groups making ‘American’ music in the US that we are seen as more unique in Europe,” he concludes.

In the early part of 2008, Doucet had the good fortune of coming to the attention of British singer James Blunt, for whom they opened a Toronto show. Blunt was so taken with the group that he invited Doucet and his band The White Falcon to open his cross-country tour late last year.

“The tour with James Blunt was great,” Doucet starts. “He was a total gentleman to us and that tour gave us the opportunity to play for a lot of people who had never heard our music before. That is the most one can hope for as an opening act.” Even though the promotional cycle for “Blood’s Too Rich” may be winding down, the artist has no lack of activities on his calendar to keep him busy:

“When this tour is done, I am immediately heading out on tour in support of my wife’s new album, which I produced. So we’ll get to head across Canada one more time. Following that, we are heading to Europe for a month in May. Then once that is wrapped up, I’m recording a new album with Sloan’s Andrew Scott as the producer.” For some reason, even though a significant amount of free time may elude Luke Doucet for the next year, you can’t help but get the impression that he wouldn’t want it any other way.

Luke Doucet will be appearing at The Blue Olive in Saint John on Friday, April 3 and at George’s Roadhouse in Sackville on Saturday, April 4.

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