Old Man Luedecke Loosens the Reins

BY Rachel SandersPublished Mar 26, 2010

No one tells you that you can exist as a banjo player in Canada," says Chris (Old Man) Luedecke. But winning a Juno in 2009 for his third album, Proof of Love, was enough to finally convince the Nova Scotia folk singer that that's exactly what he's doing. Luedecke's new, Juno-begotten confidence allowed him to let his guard down on My Hands Are On Fire And Other Love Songs, and worry less about the way he's perceived.

"The last album was pretty pointed," he says. "It was an album that was asking for that kind of recognition in some ways. It was an incredibly nervous album for me. It was a lot of 'laying it on the line' sort of stuff."

Having proven himself, Luedecke slackened his songwriting reins on his fourth release and allowed songs to just come to him fully formed. "I tend toward getting heavy and trying to burden lines of songs with so much meaning or lyrical density, which I think on this record I'm trying to loosen up a little bit," he says.

Perhaps another sign of his increased confidence is the way Luedecke's lyrical edge cuts a little deeper this time around. With lines like "may your white collar choke you where the fires of hell stoke you," he stretches beyond his typical introspective style and aligns himself with politically minded folksters of decades past.

It feels good," he says. "All that invective, the edge to the vocal performance, I like the way it's kind of scrappy and angry. That was a bit of a stretch because I am quite mild. I don't think my songs are mild, but I tend not to be that harsh on the other guy. I'm much better at mining myself than bombing others."

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