Before hunkering down to make his next studio record, Old Man Luedecke – the stage name of Chester, Nova Scotia native Chris Luedecke – is hitting the road.
Together with Toronto folk trio The Good Lovelies, Luedecke is set to perform five shows throughout the Maritimes, including a Friday night performance at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre.
For his upcoming record however, Luedecke has taken matters into his own hands. Rather than being away from his family during the process of making his new album, he recently constructed a 16 by 13 cedar shingle cabin on his property, which will serve as his recording studio.
“During the writing process of this album, a lot of the subject matter in these songs has to do with kids, so I figured why not make a record at home, where the inspiration stemmed from,” he says.
Though one might assume that making a record at home would be less of a stressful experience versus being “on the clock” in a professional studio, Luedecke says there will still be timeframes that need to be adhered to. This rings especially true for producer Tim O’Brien who will be flying in from Nashville to assist with the making of the record.
Luedecke and O’Brien are no strangers to each other. After having contributed to Luedecke’s 2010 release My Hands Are On Fire and Other Love Songs, O’Brien moved into the producer’s chair for Luedecke’s 2012 acclaimed release Tender Is The Night.
“I actually don’t have an abundance of time, just because we are going to be making the record at home,” he says. “But as long as I’m not needing to run out between takes to stir the soup, I think things will proceed nicely.
“I am especially excited to see what happens with the new record, considering it will be just Tim and I in the studio. I think it will lend a different context to the songs.”
Asked how his new material compares to his previous works, Luedecke shares that the guitar is figuring more prominently into the mix. While he acknowledges that the move away from the banjo, which has dominated much of his songs to date, he sees it as a logical evolution of his sound.
“I have always felt that the music I have made has been risky in a sense. What is really important to me as a singer-songwriter is to be able to write songs that can be stripped down to their bare essentials and still work. I’ve seen other singer-songwriters who, after an album isn’t particularly well received, over-produce their next work, as though it’s a bid to make up for that failed release.
“I have never been one to rely on production to succeed in a live context however. When I write a song, I want to feel inspired to play it for others but of course, I also have to be mindful not to alienate my audience with something radically different from my past,” Luedecke says.
Performing with Luedecke at the Capitol Theatre on Friday night is Toronto folk trio The Good Lovelies. Prior to having joined forces, each of the group’s members – Caroline Brooks, Sue Passmore and Kerri Ough – were pursuing other musical endeavours. Eventually, they came together, playing their first show as The Good Lovelies in December, 2006.
Good Lovelies member Ough notes that the three were friends before music bonded them together.
“Sue and I actually went to grade school together while Sue and Caroline met while they were in university,” she says. “Sue and I routinely sang together but for one reason or another, we could never get a band together before The Good Lovelies.”
Once the trio discovered the musical chemistry between them as well as their innate ability to harmonize, they did the seemingly unthinkable: They each left their respective jobs and hit the Trans-Canada Highway in Brooks’ station wagon.
“Looking back, I can’t actually believe that we did that. It was so brave and reckless,” Ough laughs, recalling the memory. “It proved to be a good test for us though. Not only were we given the opportunity to see this great country of ours, we learned how to make music together every night and build upon that dynamic. Each of us also learned what it took to be a good traveller and companion to one another.
Fast-forward four studio albums and one live release, The Good Lovelies are currently in the midst of putting the finishing touches upon their next studio album, due for release this Spring.
Having been buoyed by the success of their 2012 live set, Live At Revolution, the Lovelies upcoming album will mark their first studio release since 2011’s Let The Rain Fall.
“Four years is perhaps a little longer than we would have liked between studio albums, but it has also afforded us the opportunity to do a lot of writing and to pick the songs that best complement one another,” Ough says.
In addition to selecting their strongest material, Ough notes that members of their live band joined the group in the studio, ultimately lending more of a pop edge to the songs.
Asked if she is concerned about how the new material will be received amongst dedicated Good Lovelies fans, Ough notes that the trio hasn’t completely abandoned their roots.
“We took a chance in using some instruments that we hadn’t used on prior releases but we kept our vocal harmonies in tact, which will help make the songs accessible,” she says.
“Obviously, we are hoping that new and old fans like the new record. With this album, we wanted to deliver something that could stand on its own and be something that people are able to enjoy and appreciate.”
What: Old Man Luedecke and The Good Lovelies
When: Friday Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton
Tickets are $30 (plus service charges). Advance tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre Box Office, by phone at (506) 856-4379 and online at capitol.nb.ca