Published Jun 11, 2013Lethbridge, AB-based roots-rock troubadour Leeroy Stagger is back on familiar terrain: the road. He has a summer packed full of Canadian and UK dates in support of his just-released new album, Truth Be Sold, via Gold Lake Records, and as he tells Exclaim!, his entourage has just increased by one.
Says Stagger, "I have a baby son, just over five weeks old now, and he's coming on the road with us for all the Canadian dates."
While Stagger has a few Canuck dates in July, Stagger and his band head to the UK for a three-week tour before returning for more homeland dates in August.
"I've just signed a deal with a great little label there called Club House," he says. "I haven't played over there for seven years, so that is really exciting. There is quite a buzz about the record in the UK, and we're doing some pretty awesome Americana-style festivals, like Maverick and Summertime. We've been trying to arrange to film a documentary of our trip there."
With producer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) onboard for Truth Be Sold, the album was recorded in Berlin's hometown of Portland, OR, at Mystery Machine studio in "an old house converted into a studio," says Stagger.
"We were tracking all in the same room, like a living room, looking at each other, while Steve and [engineer] Lee Howard were in the basement, recording and getting it down and doing all their bits there. I'm used to recording in unconventional places, so it felt fine."
Berlin also contributed keyboards and sax on the album.
"All his parts were overdubs that were done after I'd gone home," says Stagger. "It was like opening gifts on Christmas Day when I got mixes back and could hear that Bobby Keys-type bari sax ripping in the back of 'Goodnight Berlin.' The MIDI sax solo he takes in the middle of 'Have a Heart' is phenomenal, and one of my favourite parts of the record."
Truth Be Sold, the prolific artist's eighth studio album, came out just a year after the well-received Radiant Land, and he's already well into his next record.
"It definitely has a folkier feel to it," says Stagger. "We have cut about nine songs already, but I want to be very picky. I'm not in any hurry to get it done, but I think the material that has been written for it is really strong."
However, paternity may just bring a slowing of his work rate, Stagger hints.
"The feeling is I do need to take a break. I want to raise my kid and I don't want him to always be going, 'Where's Daddy?' Music has been really good to me, and I do love performing, but I now have a new little life to take care of. Maybe it just means three or four years off the road. Raise him up and get back at it when he is old enough to understand."
See all Stagger's tour dates here.