VOLUME 1 | ISSUE 19 | Old Man Luedecke

Who Says Altruism is Dead?

by: Kate Cox

Juno award-winning Old Man Luedecke (OML) is touring heartily! In a couple of weeks he will be playing the glorious eBar in Guelph to promote his pay-what-you-want EP, Sing All About It. Who says altruism is dead? In this climate of musical piracy in the form of file sharing and illegal downloads – slap those wrists – OML is not the first music artist to promote a more accessible way of sharing his work. He’s among great company with fellow musicians like Radiohead, Alex Schaaf, and Chris Cowie who, waaay back in the early 2000’s, offered their wicked sounds for a nominal fee. And by jove it worked! Their listenership increased, and lucky old Radiohead, for one, made more money with In Rainbows than they did with their previous album on the same label Hail to the Thief. (I doubt that Radiohead really needs to make all that much more moolah, but Lord knows they could do with the exposure!)

But what I want to tell you about is the hillbilly hipster stylings of Old Man Luedecke. His sweet and earnest voice is persuasive and sunny, and the lo-fi production of his acoustic bluegrass strumming is music to my ears. In 2011 he won a Juno for Best Roots and Traditional Album Solo for his album My Hands Are On Fire and Other Love Songs (this is the same award he won in 2009 for Proof of Love). I’ve been really dying to see him in the flesh, so imagine my delight (and I would wager your delight, too) at learning that he is to play the eBar on the 15th of THIS VERY MONTH! WAH!

He’ll be playing songs from the EP and selected tracks from his four previous albums. OML has been holed up in Nashville this past winter recording more weighty and layered new tunes to share with us this coming tour. It’s a treat to see him play live; it feels like it’s just you and a handful of others sharing each rich narrative.

I’ve been dipping into Sing All About It for a couple of weeks, and each of those handcrafted comfy lyrics are just what you might expect from a wandering soul from Nova Scotia. He’s played international folk festivals in the U.S. and Australia and, of course, Canada. The Lake of Stew, who partnered with OML on the EP, provide the texture and depth beyond what one man, a banjo and a thumping foot can. Every track on the EP is a promise of even greater tale-telling between songs; they give you glimpses into OML’s amazing encounters and experiences on the road. Hipster beards and Victorian spectacles aside, Old Man Luedecke is as genuine and heartfelt as his banjo string finger calluses. You can pick up some tasty aural samplers at http://oldmanluedecke.ca.

OML, he’s a generous soul.

Old Man Luedecke and Del Barber play the eBar this Tuesday, May 15. Tickets $10-$15. (519) 821-3311

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