Old Man Luedecke Proof of Love

Nova Scotia charmer Old Man Luedecke has quite a record on his hands with Proof of Love, fleshing out his banjo-and-voice dynamic with full-band arrangements that augment his earthy lyricism. With his command of witty, rollicking folk and earnest, sombre balladry, Luedecke sounds like a direct descendant of Hank Williams, self-effacingly playful yet sad and sore-hearted all the same. On his last solo record, Hinterland, Luedecke’s range as a singer and writer was apparent but something about the added instrumentation and producer Steve Dawson’s watchful eye gives the Old Man’s songs a whole new feel. This isn’t to suggest that solitary excursions like "Wake Up Hill” and "Just Like a River” are any less engaging or poignant but the layered music and voices on "The Drawing Near” and "Ain’t Goin’ My Way” get the blood flowing more quickly. A cult favourite, Old Man Luedecke raises his status as a forceful folk artist with Proof of Love. (Black Hen)