Fans and critics agree: Hamilton’s Terra Lightfoot is a triple threat that deserves to be noticed. As a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, Lightfoot’s songs brim with a wide range of emotions, instantly commanding attention from listeners.
Released this past April, Lightfoot’s latest record, Every Time My Mind Runs Wild, sees the artist further immerse herself in the craft of songwriting, a process which she admittedly skimmed the surface of on her 2011 debut.
Incorporating influences of blues legends like Leadbelly, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Nina Simone and C.C.R., Every Time My Mind Runs Wild doesn’t just seamlessly wander between genres, it brings them together in a way that few artists can successfully capture.
“I feel as though I am always learning,” she says in advance of her Wednesday night performance at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre. “With my debut, I didn’t feel confident in myself or in the songs. Performing live ended up playing a significant role in advancing myself as a songwriter and as a guitarist, but it was ultimately the encouragement that I was receiving from others that really drove my newest record. They had confidence in my abilities, which helped me break down barriers that I didn’t even realize were standing.”
Among Lightfoot’s biggest advocates were producers Gus Van Go and Werner F, who oversaw the making of Every Time My Mind Runs Wild.
Despite the producer’s encouraging nature, Lightfoot expresses some amazement that the recording process went as smoothly as it did.
“In the days and weeks leading up to starting the record, I didn’t feel prepared in the least. Instead of hunkering down to concentrate on writing, I’d be whipping up gourmet meals or walking the dog. Whatever I could find to procrastinate further.”
Lightfoot shares however that once pre-production for the record got underway, everything seemed to magically – and thankfully – come together.
“Gus basically ripped apart the songs we brought him, which is exactly what a producer is supposed to do. What was different with Gus is that he would basically assign me and the band homework directly relating to the songs, whether that meant coming up with extra parts or singing a chorus an octave higher. They helped me realize the potential that others had seen in me.”
Music is something that has been with Lightfoot throughout her life. Growing up, she says that she was fortunate enough to be surrounded by strong female musicians. Her aunt routinely played guitar in the Ottawa area while her grandmother played piano on VIA trains across Canada throughout the 60’s. As soon as Lightfoot had mastered riding a bicycle, she would spend hours at her local music store acquainting herself, and ultimately falling in love with the guitar.
Lightfoot’s journey into music is certainly proving to be a joyous and fruitful one. Just last week, she was confirmed as the support act for Blue Rodeo’s upcoming national tour, slated to start in early January. She says it is affirmations like that which are helping reassure her that she is exactly where she should be with her life.
“I believe that any artist will go through a period of reflection, wondering if they are doing the right thing. For me, it is these little gleaming affirmations along the way, like the Blue Rodeo tour, that ultimately serve to remind me that I am being given the opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do,” Lightfoot says.
“It is a good place to be.”
What: Terra Lightfoot, special guest to Whitehorse
When: Wednesday Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton
Tickets are $35 plus service charges. Advance tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre Box Office, by phone (506) 856-4379 and online at capitol.nb.ca