Roots

Do­mes­tic Ec­cen­tric Old Man Luedecke True North/Planet

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hil­lier

“Plan A” when plan­ning to cut a fair dinkum old­time coun­try-folk cum blue­grass al­bum is to record in a cabin — prefer­ably of the log va­ri­ety and self-built — and to snap up the ser­vices of master multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist Tim O’Brien as off­sider.

Fol­low­ing their suc­cess­ful li­ai­son on 2012’s Nashville stu­dio al­bum Ten­der is the Night, Cana­dian singer-song­writer Chris “Old Man” Luedecke and the afore­men­tioned Amer­i­can man-for-all-sea­sons opt for a lit­er­ally down­home ap­proach with Do­mes­tic Ec­cen­tric. The out­come is the most or­ganic and tra­di­tional-sound­ing record of the Nova Sco­tian’s ca­reer.

Luedecke’s old-school singing and banjo pick­ing com­bined with O’Brien’s Ap­palachian-style wiz­ardry on fid­dle, guitar and man­dolin dove­tail with songs that ad­dress mat­ters of the heart, fam­ily af­fairs and the tribu­la­tions of camp­ing.

The themes come tinged with Luedecke’s droll hu­mour. In the al­bum starter he croons: “You cracked me like an egg over the hills and val­leys / I was the yolk of love bro­ken”. In a sim­i­larly face­tious ode, af­ter con­vey­ing that “it rained forty days and forty nights”, he pops the ques­tion: “Would you be my plus one if we could find the ark?” In an un­likely eu­logy to fire­wood he crack­les: “You’re stacked up good but you’re real wet wood / you don’t set the world on fire but you prob­a­bly should”.

On other tracks, mild sar­casm of the type per­fected by Loudon Wain­wright III sur­faces in lines such as: “Now we got a kitchen, now we got a hall … now we got it all” and “Ev­ery­one loves a new love at the start/ Happy ever af­ter’s not the easy part”.

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