The MusicNerd Files Edition #21

Beams perform at Plan B on May 30
Beams perform at Plan B on May 30

As we find ourselves almost at the half-way point of 2013, there is no shortage of talent finding its way to Metro Moncton. In the month of May, Moncton will host the likes of Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Aidan Knight and the Mahones as well as a few other musical highlights which we have listed below.

Get out and support your local musicians and music venues!

■Jerry Leger plays Plan B Lounge on Friday May 17 at 10:00 p.m.. Plan B is located at 212 St. George Street in Moncton.

Released last November, Jerry Leger’s sixth record Some Folks Know, has been earning the singer-songwriter accolades from across the country. Leger and his backing band The Situation is no stranger to the Metro Moncton area, having last played the area shortly before his newest record hit store shelves.

Leger tells the Times & Transcript that he has kept fairly busy since his previous Metro appearance:

“We came home from the tour at the end of November and played a big homecoming show here in Toronto at The Great Hall. It is one of the few places that we’ve headlined that has its own balcony! Imagine that,” Leger says.

Stating that his duet with Serena Ryder (“All Over Again”) will be available in video form soon, he is looking forward to his imminent return to the Maritimes:

“We are really looking forward to coming back. I think everything is building nicely. It has been a very slow train ride for me so far but it’s great seeing what kind of folks end up following me around. I mean, I made the deal to pursue music a long time ago, for better or worse. I’m just happy that it keeps moving in front of me.”

■On Thursday, May 30, Beams will be performing at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge at 212 St. George Street. Showtime will be 10 p.m.

Toronto-based indie-folk band Beams is headed to the Hub City with its phenomenal new record Just Rivers in tow. Boasting incredibly lush melodies, the group made their newest record after having essentially scrapped an almost completed album.

“We had a finished album that we and others worked hard on, but it just didn’t feel right,” Beams member Mike Duffield says. “We didn’t know what to do about it. We showed it to a friend who told us, ‘Knowing you guys, and how you sound, I’d be pretty disappointed if I put this on after seeing you live. It sounds like a different band.’

“And she was right, we were a different band. We began making that record before Beams truly existed and the big picture of what the songs would become hadn’t even been established yet. We needed something that reflected the big picture of where we were at that point, and not the sketch where it began.”

To help get the best from their record, the band hired Toronto producer Peter J. Moore (Cowboy Junkies’ landmark Trinity Sessions) to oversee the new recording sessions.

“Peter places the utmost importance on capturing performances, so we did as much as we technically could live, with no click track. We recorded both Anna and Heather’s vocals at the same time. Also, the way that Peter makes records is in an old-school way that eliminates a certain safety net provided by modern recording technology. He is able to pull out really great performances as a result of that though.”

■ Oldfolks Home perform at Plan B, 212 St. George Street, on Thursday, May 30. Showtime is 10 p.m.

Divorce and happiness are not often words you’ll find spoken in the same sentence. While folk heroes Richard and Linda Thompson documented the breakdown of their relationship on their infamous record Shoot Out The Lights, Oldfolks Home Ricardo Lopez-Aguilar took a different approach with his new record Black & Blue. The album just might be the world’s first happy divorce album.

“In hard times, there are also awesome times, and I wanted to make a record that reflected my entire experience after the divorce and during the healing and forgiveness,” Lopez-Aguilar says. “As I learned the lessons I did through taking responsibility for my part in the break-up, I had more love and trust in myself and that filled me with joy. It felt wrong to leave those very important victories out of an album that was also filled with the emotional face-plants. The album IS an emotional roller-coaster, but that ride goes up and down. It would be a very boring ride indeed if it just coasted along the bottom. The happiness comes from knowing that I can manage and pull through whatever life decides to hurl my way, and the loss of that relationship taught me that.”

Asked whether his ex-spouse has heard the record, the musician says that he did send a copy her way but has yet to hear much in the way of feedback from her.

“We’ve had little communication since we went our separate ways. I have no idea what she thinks about the album although she was one of the first to hear it. I sent it to her when I asked if I could use her art for the album artwork, but her opinion of the music never came up.”

Here’s to happier times ahead, Ricardo.

Article published in the May 3, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript