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OLD MAN LUEDECKE - Domestic Eccentric

OLD MAN LUEDECKE - Domestic Eccentric
True North Records TND605

There is an instant attraction to the idea of musicians gathering in a Nova Scotian cabin to sing and play the time away. The eponymous Old Man Luedecke is a songwriter in the true bardic tradition, chronicling life as he sees it, whilst also being one of the sharpest banjo-pickers and guitarists I’ve heard in a long time.

Here he teams up again with Tim O’Brien, who can turn his hand to mandolin, guitar, bouzouki and fiddle, with an uncanny expertise on each. Dug deep into the snows of a Canadian winter, they are accompanied by Jennah Barry on vocals, Nick Halley on vocals and percussion and Samson Grisman on bass.

This album is essentially a series of stories about growing up – not through childhood, but rather through the earlier stages of adulthood, from the point of view of a young man falling (and staying) in love, with all that entails - moving around, settling down, the roller-coaster of life that revolves round having a family, and coming to terms with the pressures that this brings.

OML has a nifty turn of phrase and doesn’t let maudlin sentimentality creep into his writing, which clearly comes from the heart and reflects a life lived amid changing circumstances, yet also the resilience of spirit which gets us through and keeps us going onwards and upwards.

The whole production is faultless, with the excellent musicianship and arrangements complementing the stories of each song as they develop into both highly personal yet simultaneously universally-recognisable tales. A thoroughly good album.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 111 of The Living Tradition magazine.