Old Man Luedecke may be new to US audiences, but the Canadian folk songwriter is well-known and lauded north of the border. As his photo indicates, he is not old, but the music that captures his interest and influences his writing is old. Luedecke references traditional music from the Smithsonian Folkways series, like the Red Clay Ramblers, but sounds more like a folked-out Paul Simon to me. (Interestingly, Simon is never referenced, but I cannot get the vocal comparison out of my ears with this record.)
Despite obscure literary references, Tender is the Night, is solidly present. Although F. Scott Fitzgerald or even Jackson Browne may come to mind, Luedecke has never read that book nor has he heard to catchy tune of the same name–although his mandolin player sings it to him often. (Luedecke says he is referencing Melville’s Billy Budd who is referencing Keats and a reflection on Thomas Payne’s “Rights of Man.”) Despite the heavy influences, the music is simple and accessible–producer, Tim O’Brien, gently decorated Luedecke’s songs.
While much more folk-y than most of the music we cover, the connection to the history of folk music and a modern reflection of it, tie these songs to the rest of the catalog. Luedecke’s use of humor and the absurd, Biblical topics and modern life, demonstrate how traditional lyrical subjects continue to engage listeners.
- Old Man Luedecke Tender Is The Night
- Tim O’Brien
- Del Barber Headwaters
- Ramblin’ Jack Elliott Sowing The Seeds – The 10th Anniversary “Don’t Look Twice”
- Sam Cooke One Night Stand – Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963 Luedecke tells a great tale of buying a Carter Family album on the same day as this one–and realizing that he could more easily imitate the Carters than Cooke.
- Barbary Ghosts The Ghost of the William Grey
- Roger Miller
- Townes van Zandt
- Red Clay Ramblers Classic Old-Time Music from Smithsonian Folkways