While his first album was influenced by his time spent in the Yukon, Chris “Old Man” Luedecke’s new CD found inspiration closer to home — Chester.
“I think so, the song Wake Up Hill is actually set just behind my house,” says the banjo player, who sings about looking out at the ships crossing Mahone Bay.
“I am doing it right now; as we speak there is a coast guard ship right outside my window.” The song can be found on Luedecke’s third album, the optimistic and slightly dark Book of Love. Being released this weekend, it is a followup to the folk singer’s acclaimed second album, Hinterland.
“At the end of Hinterland, I was really excited to move to the country, and this album was largely written here in Chester, in the country,” says Luedecke.
Instead of his usually solo singing and banjo strumming, the musician is joined on the album — a blend of folk and bluegrass — by a whole band.
“I knew I wanted to play with a band. I knew I wanted it to be more ambitious,” he says. Helping Luedecke to achieve his goal was multi-Juno winning producer Steve Dawson.
“Because I perform solo and I really focus on the songs, he co-ordinated and orchestrated the whole session. I had input, and was intimately involved, but I brought my stuff to the table pretty much the way I play it. Steve brought everything else and made sure everything was on track around me.”
The album was recorded live off the floor over a two-day period, with Luedecke sticking around an extra day to record some solo stuff.
“It took a few run-throughs to get everyone into the groove and then you would lay down one or two more tracks to get the proper take,” Luedecke says.
“I sang quite a lot on those days. For most musicians I know, it’s a thrill to be in the studio. To put something down, to capture a performance, and iron out those little frustrations, is really an exhilarating experience.”