North by East West - Live Review
On a cold night in Toronto, something special happened at Old Man Luedecke's live performance at the Hugh's Room. Actually, tonight was a big night for indie music in Toronto as Tegan and Sara (still indie with 45 million plays on Myspace?) were playing over at Kool Haus . So choosing to see Old Man Luedecke live was made, mostly because of a curiosity (after hearing some of his recorded songs), and a love for folk & roots music.
Arriving at the show late, what hit me right away was the relaxed atmosphere inside. It was a packed crowd with standing room only for latecomers like myself, however, it didn't matter to anyone.
Old Man Luedecke won the 2009 Juno for Roots/solo album of the year. His banjo laden songs in "Proof of Love" album has won critics praise across the country.
The show was divided into 2 sets, with an intermission of about half an hour. He sang songs from his first two albums in the first set. In the second set he sang songs from his upcoming 3rd album "My Hands Are On Fire and Other Love Songs" (March 30th, 2010). After that he started taking song requests from the audience.
What made the performance heartwarming was how he would talk to the audience and telling stories of how each song was created. He had the whole crowd in waves of laughter as he is funny. So hearing about roadtrips of broken buses, and his life in Nova Scotia was a priceless treat, not mention his music.
Old Man Luedecke is a roots & folk musician that plays the banjo, stomps his feet, and sings in a warm whimsical songs with thoughtful lyrics. With a strong voice, exceptional as a lyricist, he gave a complete performance. His lyrics hold deep meaning that engaged the listeners as he performed.
The lasting impression of the night was the great warmth and joviality that permeated the whole place, which had couples dancing in the aisles, drinks and laughter among friends, and an air of friendliness. It felt almost like a Canadian beer commercial, no joke. Of course, at centre of it all Old Man Luedecke and his banjo was the one pulling our strings, entertaining us all.