Old Man Luedecke will return to Canmore’s Communitea Café, May 7.
“I’ve played a few really lovely shows at the Communitea,” said Chris Luedecke, in an interview with the Outlook. “I’ve been there at least once a year for the last three or four years, and I’ve just had a great time.
“I’m playing Calgary and Edmonton and big places like that, but I’ve always played smaller places. I like going out. And Canmore isn’t really out of the way in any shape or form.”
Luedecke, a young man in this thirties, plays new, original tunes in the old-time style with his banjo and voice.
“I’ve been playing banjo and writing songs and singing, and I’ve been doing that more and more,” he said. “I’ve been playing all over tarnation.”
Originally from Toronto, Luedecke had his start as a musician in the early days of the century, first learning the banjo and writing songs for it while living in Dawson City, Yukon. He now calls Chester, N.S. home.
“I spent 2002 in Dawson and just wrote, wrote, wrote songs and played at the Pit and the can-can show, and then moved to Halifax and started my music career then,” he said. “I was restless and then I followed my wife out to Nova Scotia.
“She’s from B.C., but she went to art school out there and we just got into the music community. My performing life as a musician has been based in Nova Scotia.”
More recently, Luedecke has won two Juno Awards, including Roots Solo Album of the year for 2009, for his album, Proof of Love.
“In the last two-and-a-half years I’ve probably had a couple of slow days, but I’ve been busy,” he said. “It’s been an accelerating pace for the most part.”
While Luedecke ordinarily plays solo shows, for this tour he’s accompanied by Ladies of the Canyon, a four-member folk/rock band from Montreal.
“They’re opening for me,” said Luedecke. “I did three sold-out shows at the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield last December, and they were an opening act on one of those shows. They thought it’d be really fun to tour together and I’m pretty easy going.
“Having never met them before, one of them came up on stage that night and played a couple tunes and it was pretty awesome.”
This tour, which began in Winnipeg on May 3, is the first national tour for Ladies of the Canyon, and is in support of their debut album, Haunted Women.
“They’ll probably join me here and there as we go along – I’m still pretty much a solo dude,” said Luedecke. “But if we can work it out that I can include them in my part of the show, and vice versa, that would be nice.
“They’re wonderful singers, they’re a great harmony band.”
After Saturday’s Canmore show, the tour continues west through B.C., before doubling back across the country as far as Quebec.
As for what he’ll be playing, Luedecke stressed it’d be a mixed bag.
“The record that just won the Juno came out about a year ago, so I’ve written a year’s worth of new songs to go on top of that, but I generally draw my shows from across my three records plus two EPs,” he said. “I’m generally picking and choosing my songs – I’ll play favourites and I’ll play a bunch of new stuff too.”
His very first album, an out-of-print EP entitled Mole in the Ground, was rereleased as a free download on his website May 1.
Luedecke is looking forward to the return to Communitea.
“I had a really great show there at this time last year, so I’m excited to come back and say hi again,” he said. “It’s cool what (Communitea) brings in for shows, it’s pretty amazing.”