Old Man Luedecke on the New Record, Playing St. John’s This Month, and Being a Domestic Eccentric

Ludecke returns to St. John’s, “my favourite city to play,” and performs at LSPU Hall on October 26th and 27th at 8pm for a Mighty Pop presentation.

Being a solo banjo-playing troubadour, Old Man Luedecke has always been a touch eccentric. Despite touring the world, he’s feeling far more domesticated these days, being a father of three, and having just celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary. His latest, Domestic Eccentric, plucks at the notion of home.

“I realized I was writing mostly songs about needing to leave home, and writing about home, and it became a concept record,” says Luedecke, calling from a Big Stop in rural Nova Scotia. “I wanted to reconnect, and made some decisions about what I wanted to do, and what was important.”

For Luedecke, being true to where he is in life is paramount. He aims to honestly express himself as a musician, and honour individuality. Based in Chester, Nova Scotia, Luedecke recorded Domestic Eccentric with Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien in a wintery cabin he built out behind his house. The two were snowbound for a week, recording at all hours. 

“I’ve always thought of art as being kind of individual, something unique is more interesting to me than something that is an effort to sound already successful. That’s a challenge,” he says. “The banjo is not going to be on the radio’s top 40.”

With two Juno Awards, a Polaris Prize shortlisting, an East Coast Music Award Album of the Year, and six albums under his belt, Luedecke’s discography proves he’s a timeless songwriter.

Domestic Eccentric opens with a prologue version of “Yodelady,” a signature live tune from his early days.

“I haven’t sold it since I started. I really wanted to reconnect with the song because, in a way, this is a return to my Hinterland album. I thought it was really important to do this song with Tim. It’s described as a prologue because it revisits, and prefaces the crazy to come.”

Luedecke has always been a poet-hearted balladeer in a time of modern-day distractions and disassociations.  Domestic Eccentric is a testament to confidence, craftsmanship, love, honour, family and standing your ground in a dizzying world. In his song, “The Girl in the Pearl Earring,” he declares: “you can’t fake a work of heart.”

Luedecke describes Domestic Eccentric as portrait of friendship –along with recording with O’Brien, who he’s worked with several times, engineer John D. Southern Adams joined him, and vocalist Jennah Barry, who left her own dinner guests waiting when she came to sing on “The Briar and the Rose” (a stunning love song to Luedecke’s wife Teresa), all players are close to Luedecke’s heart and home. During the recording process, even his kids chimed in.

“My kids quote from my songs, they know the words. ‘The Briar and the Rose,’ a song about my wife, uses the name Delia Rose, which is one of my kids’ names. She thinks the song is about her.”

Ludecke returns to St. John’s, “my favourite city to play,” and performs at LSPU Hall on October 26th and 27th at 8pm for a Mighty Pop presentation. 

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