The myth of the folk troubadour is still alive and well, and Old Man Luedecke is the perfect modern embodiment of it. Hailing from snowy Nova Scotia in the remote, far-Eastern reaches of Canada, Old Man Luedecke – real name Chris (sorry to break that veil) – has a mythic air about him.
He recently finished up a stint of recording in the Nova Scotian woods where he spent months holed up with Grammy-award winning, bluegrass legend Tim O’Brien. Together the two conversed the art of roots and folk, teasing out stories of young love, what it’s like to be a still-young-ish man, and the tribulations of fatherhood.
2-time Juno Award winning folkster Old Man Luedecke just touched down in Australia with new material under his belt and a string of shows to play. We asked him to show us what is in his rucksack.
The resulting product was a full-length record – Luedecke’s sixth – called Domestic Eccentric, released mid-last year. The first single released off the record, The Early Days, is a tribute to the budding days of parenthood. Creaky, warm and visceral, the track is a folk classic. Built from a woody acoustic, a plucked ukelele / banjo, bass and softly brushed drums, it’s a calming, meditative piece of music – one that you could only imagine being recorded in a cabin in the woods.
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Speaking about the record, Luedecke revealed some info on his working relationship with O’Brien. “Tim is my favourite musician, and working with him in a duet environment was a waking dream. I worked with people I loved and trusted,” he says when telling the story of Domestic Eccentric. “And the record, for me, is a rich portrait of personal friendships.”
Escaping the Canadian cold, Luedecke just touched down in Australia, here to play some shows. To get an insight into just how a folkster like Luedecke travels these days, we asked Chris to open up his rucksack and show us what was inside. This is what he revealed:
Ok so I used to travel by greyhound bus and I have hit hiked to gigs. Now I seem to have close 100 pounds of stuff. Gear, CDs, banjo in heavy case, guitar in a heavier case. Here in the photo you see the sum of my toiletries kit (had a proper bag but lost it in the first few weeks). My vinyl record (so heavy, so beautiful). A paperback of the stories of Saki (wicked, funny and a bit evil) illustrated by Edward Gorey(broody and gothic). The book is published by NYRB New York Review of Books and I look for them wherever I travel. I collect them and allow them to curate my reading pretty heavily.
I always have my banjo and guitar picks in my pocket.
There’s a boot brush I stole from my sister’s house that aims to make my boots presentable and I never pack it but haven’t lost it somehow.
The vegemite I received this morning from my first host in Australia. The little cognac I got at duty free on the way because I’m fond of cognac and I haven’t tried that one and I can’t carry any more stuff. Also as a musician I don’t really need to carry booze around.
You can catch Luedecke old the following gigs, buy a record, and share some stories over a piece of vegemite toast:
Woodford @ The Planting Festival, Queensland
3 of May @ Upwey, Belgrave RSL, VIC
5 of May @ The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick, VIC
6 of May @ Mountain Mumma, Sheffield, TAS
7th of May @ The Brookfield Shed, Margate, TAS
10th of May @Sunset Studio, Newcastle, NSW
11th of May @ Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
13 of May @ Illawara Folk Club, NSW
14th of May @ Polish Club, Canberra, ACT
15th of May @Hotel Blue, Katoomba, NSW
Domestic Eccentric is out right now via True North Records.
Get more info here!