Domestic Eccentric Old Man Luedecke True North/Planet
“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”.