Fresh from winning a Juno for his last album “Proof Of Love” Chris Luedecke returns with more of the same in “My Hands Are On Fire...” Despite the presence of Tim O’Brien and Steve Dawson, who also produces (not the Dolly Varden one but the Canadian mover and shaker) the sound is still very much one man and his banjo laying down simple contemporary folk songs. As previously Luedecke remains an optimist in the main, whose philosophy is summed up on “The Rear Guard” by the lines “I fly on homemade wings up into the sun/seems to me there’s room up here for each and everyone.” That doesn’t stop him from giving (dis)credit where it’s due though and “Woe Betide the Doer of The Deed” is his credit crunch song, couched as a lilting but slightly sinister curse. Nor does it stop him writing about the heartbreak of infertility in “Palace Is Golden,” albeit allied to a stomper of a tune. The only non-original is a Willie P. Bennett cover included, by Luedecke as by so many other Canadian artists, as a tribute to the giant of Canadian roots who died too young in 2008. His offering is an excellent take on the drowned lover saga “Caney Fork River.”
Luedecke has a fresh and uncomplicated sound that behind its simplicity conceals lyrics that are sharp and full of insight and this is a classy contemporary roots album.