The Weather Station St. Matthew's United Church, Halifax NS, October 23
Published Oct 24, 2015A fingerpicked guitar suggests travel, open spaces, long and winding roads. Whether that's a result of the style's long association with folk and country music or its unbroken, perpetual sound is a bit of a chicken-and-egg argument, but it's hard not to immediately conjure up such images when you close your eyes and listen to Tamara Lindeman's songs as the Weather Station.
"I play that song in faraway places, and say it's about driving through New Brunswick, and no one knows what I'm talking about," said Lindeman, speaking to "Floodplain" from her latest album Loyalty. "But I could have said that here."
Loyalty is a big leap forward for the Toronto-based Lindeman, who is quickly becoming one of Canada's most compelling singer-songwriters. In the hushed St. Matt's Church, the reverberated notes and slow-burning melodies of songs like "I Mined" and "Like Sisters" echoed through the pews and up into the balcony. Her three-piece backing band (shared Friday night (October 23) with Andy Shauf, who followed her performance) added soft textures to new songs and older material like "Everything I Saw" and "Know It to See It," making for a sound that was lush but never excessive.
Though Joni Mitchell is (thankfully) still with us, her ghost still haunts Lindeman's work, as it does nearly every smoky-voiced Canadian woman writing folk songs. That's just fine, though: when Lindeman grabs her acoustic guitar to perform "Traveller" and her voice enters her higher register, you hear a dialogue between past and present, a conversation between voices of various generations. Folk music is a living lineage, after all, and it's very much alive in Lindeman's capable hands (and fingers).