Grayowl Point Blog
This album is the fourth from Nova Scotia-based roots and folk singer Old Man Luedecke. He plays a banjo. And his music is awesome. You read that correctly.
The first thing I noticed when listening to this was how poetic Luedecke is with his words. Within three minutes he can paint a beautiful picture, whether that picture is one of love (such as “Lass Vicious”) or seething hatred (“Woebetide the Doer of the Deed”).
Luedecke has a voice that’s absolutely perfect for this kind of music. Every note he sings sounds absolutely genuine and honest, something that you may not hear a lot of in mainstream roots and country.
However, don’t expect this entire record to be slow and melodic all throughout. This album will hook you with its opening track, “Lass Vicious,” and will also probably have you singing along with it really quickly. “The Rear Guard” is another really upbeat song, and it is there that he repeats “My hands are on fire” (there isn’t actually a song called “My Hands are on Fire”, fyi).
As the title would suggest, a lot of these songs are about that good old emotion called love. “Down the River” is a beautiful, slow song about lovers that always fight with each other but still manage to stay in love. My favourite lyric of that song is “Our love was built along a well-known fault line.”
“Inchworm,” the album’s closing track, seems to be somewhat of a reflective piece. Again, Luedecke is very powerful with his words when he says “Misery forgets/There was ever happiness/And happiness treats misery about the same.” The inchworm is a really powerful symbol of this song, depicting himself as someone who gets up but can’t go anywhere.
“Woebetide the Doer of the Deed,” as you may recall, is the one song where you can clearly sense some anger. It seems to be about what large firms did during the recession, making profits for themselves while others lost their jobs. Most powerful lyric: “May your white collar choke you/May the fires of hell stoke you.”
This album is so beautiful it’s hard to ignore. Roots and folk lovers will get a kick out of this.