Exclaim!'s Best Albums of 2012:

Folk and Country Page 3

> Dec 11 2012

Exclaim!'s Best Albums of 2012: - Folk and Country Page 3
By Exclaim! Staff9. Old Man Luedecke
Tender Is The Night
(True North)

For nearly ten years, Old Man Luedecke has been producing some of the country's purest, brightest and most authentic folk music. A decade of devotion to his craft has paid off for the Chester, NS artist, whose fifth full-length album, Tender Is The Night, combines Luedecke's hooky melodies and vibrant lyrics with beautifully polished production. His familiar voice and his fingers flying over the banjo strings have never sounded warmer or more inviting thanks to the attentions of a Grammy-winning production team. The album was recorded in Nashville at the Butcher Shoppe (a studio owned by John Prine and renowned sound engineer David Ferguson) and American bluegrass musician Tim O'Brien is once again in the producer's seat. From the goofy "A&W Song" to the heartfelt "Tender Is The Night" to foot-stompers like "Tortoise and the Hare" and "Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms" the songs are true to Luedecke's unique musical sensibilities: always light in spirit even when his themes are weighty. Luedecke already won two Junos for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year in 2009 and 2011. But from the sounds of Tender Is The Night, it seems this old man is only just getting started.
Rachel Sanders

8. Bill Fay
Life Is People
(Dead Oceans)

Most artists have that one song, the song that usually appears at the end of an album that carries the weight of the world and sums up everything the songwriter has been hinting at for the last 40 minutes. It's a song that attempts to do nothing less than communicate the human condition, that has fans weeping during a dramatic centrepiece in the live show, that invariably gets scooped up by movie music supervisors for use in particularly poignant montages. It's the song that, if done well enough, ends up being "The Song" of an artist's career. Bill Fay, a long-forgotten never-was who hasn't put out a proper album in almost 40 years, has suddenly coughed up 12 of those songs. Granted, one of them is a Wilco cover, and Jeff Tweedy shows up for a duet on the one and only up-tempo number. Fay has spent literally a lifetime crafting these songs, full of wonder and enlightenment and acute observation, but he recorded quickly with a young producer who knew how to marry Fay's '70s British singer-songwriter vibe with occasional modern moody psychedelia on arrangements that place his lyrics in haunting, evocative soundscapes and lush, gospel-tinged folk. If you had no idea who Bill Fay was before hearing this album you'll be thankful he waited this long to release an album this good, and rejoice in the fact that he's still alive to get his due.
Michael Barclay

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I question the use of "but" in that second last sentence of the Corb Lund review, Mr. Barclay
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Good selections, I guess, just the order that bothers me.
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no love for Damien Jurado? Luke Roberts? oh well
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In an earlier review you suggest Paul Reddick's album "Wishbone" as a great piece of work, and a worthy Juno contender, yet here, you sidestep his inclusion.... Mmmmm?...
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Toronto's Graydon James and the Young Novelists appears to be missing from your round-up. Surely that's just an oversight. Oh wait, you have that Father John Misty record on your list despite the fact that Now I'm Learning to Love the War is one of the worst songs of the year, marring an otherwise good record. You will find no such dud on In The Year You Were Born. This leads me to believe that you may have been hit on the head in recent weeks. Get well soon.
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And where would I find Slow Commotion by Jay Harris on this list of yours? I can't seem to find it anywhere. Truly one of the great records of 2012.
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Jesse Somfay (Borealis) deserves to be on this list. He is one of Canada's most underrated musicians.
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Oops - that was meant for the Electonic list...sorry.
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Agreed , I seen them live in cowtown, and corb and the boys were flawless! (Tip my hat)
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