If everyone took one hour every couple weeks to listen to a few bluegrass tunes, the world would be a much happier place to live. It melts stress. It’s the kind of music that will make you crack open a beer, sit in a rocking chair and make you forget about silly things like that douche who arbitrarily keyed your car last Tuesday. Old Man Luedecke has just released his fifth studio album of laid back, peaceful, purely enjoyable banjo tunes to lull you to sleep or to get you through a rough day. Tender is the Night is yet another triumph in name of everybody easing up and getting along.
To me, a fantastic folk musician is someone who finds clever and cheeky ways to write about the most mundane everyday events in such a way that every listener can identify immediately with the singer. Folk music is the music of the people, after all. Old Man Luedecke finds the meaning in all of the little experiences that we never take time to consider. You don’t hear nearly enough tunes about your debit card not working in the A&W drive-thru after a night of consumption of alcoholic beverages (Oh my God, I’m coming undone). It’s this kind of charm that’s pouring out of Old Man Luedecke’s Nova Scotian soul. His lyrics are so genuine, reflected perfectly in his stage banter. It’s not an Old Man Luedecke show if you don’t get more than a handful of lovable tales from the travels of a simple banjo songster.
On his new record, Old Man Luedecke seems to be getting more comfortable with his own voice. He still has that slightly out of pitch singing style which is ever so endearing, but he is also getting bloder and more powerful in his vocals. He has also been experimenting a little more with the guitar than on his previous albums. I like the higher degree of instrumental diversity on Tender is the Night, which often features fiddle mandolin, and double bass. And of course, those banjo lines are as delicate and precise as always. A few of my favourite tunes so far would have to be “I’m Fine (I am, I am)”, and “Roll in my Sweet Baby’s Arms”.
Do yourself a favour, sit back and let Old Man Luedecke serenade you. And check out his shows, last time I met a real sweet lady there, so you never know what might happen!
p.s. only 16 days left…