Q&A Scene: Old Man Luedecke

What’s your favourite work at this point in time? 

My favourite released recording is Wait a While from Domestic Eccentric. It’s my least song-y work, mostly about groove and feel but it sketches the themes of longing and humour and food that are in everything I do. I played a fretless gourd banjo that doesn’t travel well but sounds wonderful. Tim O’Brien played some skanky telecaster and Nick Halley played west African talking drums and kit. We were in my small cabin on a sunny March day in Nova Scotia and we really got into it.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

I have no idea where I am right now. I’m somewhere on a country property in Queensland at an air B and B that few people could have ever stayed at. Playing tonight on the Festival of Small Halls (which is wonderful). I can’t go outside for the heat and flies but an hour ago I was in a mall drinking bubble tea which was worse.

What, or who, inspires you?

Sincerity and things that seem out of time. Like they took forever to make or don’t belong anywhere.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

Right now I’d say sardines. Beautiful packaging and a lot packed in little place. Not for everyone but mostly because they don’t try it. Really good for you. Rich and salty and shiny for real.

Which song do you wish you wrote?


What’s next for you?

I’ve got a new record in the can that’s influenced by Harry Belafonte and Calypso, 50s and 60s folk music a bit. It’ll come out next year. I like singing the songs now.

What’s your scene?

Don’t really have one. Hopefully my family remember me when I’m gone. I like them and I like it when musicians drop in to my out of the way home in Chester NS for a meal and those two lives come together.

Old Man Luedecke has just completed a string of dates for Generic for Festival of Small Halls.

Old Man Luedecke’s One Night Only! Live at the Chester Playhouse is a beautiful recording of one gig, September 15, 2017, when he appeared solo before a hometown crowd in the seaside village of Chester, Nova Scotia.

The record captures the warmth and intimacy of the show and the transmutation of the ordinary to the magical that Luedecke achieves every night. Through this generous set of songs we get a fantastic view of Luedecke’s storytelling art, his songcraft, and his timing as he engages and thrills an audience with his weirdly wordy ways. It is precisely this combination which makes him such a beloved live performer.

There are songs picked from all six of his previous records, played solo on banjo and guitar before an adoring crowd with the storytelling, banter, and interludes left in for enjoyment. Long asked-for, a record with the stage talk; here finally is a whole show. Also included for the first time on any recording is his wonderful cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Closing time” and a new Luedecke composition, the quasi-spiritual “I Wanna Go.” This is an hour and 20 minutes where you can experience the breezy joy of an OML show that sparkles with his signature wit, intelligence, and wordplay.

Old Man Luedecke is the recording and performing name of 2 time JUNO Award winning roots singer-songwriter Christopher Luedecke. A Toronto native, butborn-again as an international performer after he moved to the countryside near Chester, Nova Scotia circa 2005. Chester, as it turns out, was a perfect mecca for a truly original individual.

After falling in love in Dawson City, Yukon with his oft muse, wife/partner, and album cover artist Teresa Bergen, stints of woodshedding, bicycle touring, transnational hitchhiking, and his incessant reading and listening, Luedecke amassed a wealth of experiences both usual and un- for his authentic body of work.These expressions can be summed up best as, “Don’t let them take the joy that you make on your own,” which he sings in his anthemic song “I Quit My Job.” As they have from the beginning of his career, Old Man Luedecke’s songs continue to bring joy and illumination to independent minded people fighting the good fights of their lives.

Luedecke’s albums have been made all across this great land from Vancouver, recording for Steve Dawson’s label Black Hen Music, to Nashville at the studio owned by John Prine for True North Records, Canada’s oldest independent record label, and to Chester, Nova Scotia for 2 records, produced by Grammy-winning American Roots Music legend Tim O’Brien in a self-built cabin on Luedecke’s own backwoods. Both later albums were JUNO-nominated and winners of the East Coast Music Awards’Album of the Year in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Luedecke is a 4-time nominee and twice-winner at the JUNOs, has been long listed for the Polaris Prize, and has received many regional accolades through Music Nova Scotia and the East Coast Music Association. He has appeared at major folk festivals in Canada, USA, UK, and Australia, coupled with a steady touring life worldwide. He has supported artists Feist, Bahamas, Joel Plaskett, and Matt Andersen. His music is featured in a South African Documentary produced for upcoming Theatrical and Television release. Cover versions of his songs have been performed by street punks in Nashville, Celtic bands in the Orkney Islands, and on the Grammy-nominated album North By South by seminal bluegrass artist Claire Lynch. He has twice appeared on NPR Mountain Stage and is an oft-featured guest on CBC, ABC, and BBC radio.


Old Man Luedecke returns to Australia for a run of festival appearances this year.

Dec27 – Jan 01: Woodford Folk Festivalhttps://woodfordfolkfestival.com

About Mary Boukouvalas 1506 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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