Banjo vibes

Old Man Luedecke recalls how he first started his folk music career

Old Man Luedecke is returning to Kingston tomorrow night before continuing on his tour in the US and overseas in the next few months.
Old Man Luedecke is returning to Kingston tomorrow night before continuing on his tour in the US and overseas in the next few months.

Save the tissue boxes for someone else — Chris Luedecke’s heartbreak only needed the purchase of a banjo to be solved.

It’s this broken heart that sparked Luedecke’s love for music.

“I hitchhiked from Vancouver to the Yukon [in 1998] and I met a girl up there. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with myself after that summer. I was looking for a mode of expression. I got a banjo on the whim to have some sort of expression,” Luedecke said.

Originally from Chester, N.S., Old Man Luedecke ended up in Dawson City in the Yukon in 1998 and that’s where he bought his first banjo.

“It’s a great vehicle for what I have to say.”

Nine years later, Juno-award winner Luedecke has just finished putting together his sixth and latest album, Tender is the Night.

Luedecke said his recording style hasn’t changed much since that first EP.

“All of my records are recorded live. There are few solo instruments or vocal harmonies, but mostly what you hear is how we played that day and what we played in the moment and how we got down to business,” he said.

With this new album, Luedecke decided to switch up a few things, leaving Canada behind to head to the city where country music dreams tend to come true.

“I’ve gone to Nashville to make this record so it’s a little different from the last few records,” Luedecke said. “In some ways, it’s not all that different at all because I still made a record in four or five days.”

While recording the album in Nashville, Luedecke said he got inspiration from the bluegrass musicians he was playing with.

“In Nashville, you listen to a lot of bluegrass music, which is a world I’m familiar with, but I also don’t write or sing in a bluegrass style,” he said.

Luedecke said he had a great experience in the new recording environment in Nashville.

“In terms of basic recording, I was playing with some great musicians and we had a great time playing off of each other.”

Luedecke is currently on tour in Canada with Tender is the Night.

The tour has also taken Luedecke outside of Canada’s boundaries.

“I’ve been playing in the [Northeast] US this week and I’ll go to England and Australia next year.”

Old Man Luedecke plays the Grad Club tomorrow night. Doors open at 9 p.m.

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