Matt Patershuk lives and makes music in La Glace, Alberta, a northern town of 300 people. Three of which are his family — his wife and two daughters, Rose and Violet.
La Glace’s official census probably doesn’t include Patershuk’s horses Katie, Sugar and Oreo, but such are the bureaucratic tyrannies of the fallen times we live in.
La Glace, if you haven’t been, is way out there — north and west of Edmonton.
“We’re pretty close to the start of the Alaska highway, the region’s claim to fame I guess,” says Patershuk. “We’re about halfway between Grand Prairie and Dawson Creek, so it’s about a 45-minute drive.”
That’s a short trip for a guy who this fall is bringing his new album, Same As I Ever Have Been, to seven cities (and Crooked Creek, an unincorporated community), across three provinces. On Oct. 26 the tour wagon stops in the glittering metropolis of Saskatoon.
You should totally go see them play! Same As I Ever Have Been is a soulful country album with warmly thoughtful and slightly off-kilter insights into life, love, heartbreak, death and all that good twangy stuff.
Same As I Ever Have Been is Patershuk’s third record, and his second produced by roots star Steve Dawson, who also brings da strings. A rock-solid roster of talent — including T-Bone Burnett drummer Jay Bellerose — round out the squad, which recorded Same As I Ever Have Been mostly straight into microphones as a band rather than a disconnected collection of soloists playing their parts one at a time, “assembly required” style.
The album was recorded in Bryan Adam’s famous Vancouver studio, but it was forged in rural Alberta. That’s what makes it good, says Patershuk.
“Being isolated from the rest of the music community can be a helpful thing,” says Patershuk. “Being on the margins of things is good for being a writer, or that’s what I tell myself when I’ve got to drive eight hours to Calgary for a gig.
Being a parent is educational, too.
“I’m getting to the stage now where I think I’m learning more from [my daughters] than they are from me,” says Patershuk, whose last name is pronounced “patter” (the sound small footsteps make on a floor) rather than “pater” (the Latin word for father). “You see the world through someone else’s eyes when you have kids. They’re both really compassionate but also strong, and I’m always learning something just from their example as they wander through the world.”
As for his new album and this tour? One reckons it’s kind of a mission. A mission of fun.
“We’ve just been kinda hopping all over, trying to play for folks and let them listen to the new album in hopes of making a few new friends, I guess,” says Patershuk.
Here’s hoping Patershuk finds some new pals in Saskatoon.