True North Records

Old Man Luedecke creates an aura of mystery by never mentioning his full name anywhere on this CD or in the liner notes, but a web search quickly finds that his name is Chris Luedecke and that he’s a singer/songwriter who lives in a cabin in Nova Scotia. On this recording, he partners with Tim O’Brien and is joined by Jennah Barry on vocals, Nick Halley on vocals and percussion, and Samson Grisman on bass. There’s a lot of clawhammer banjo, some mandolin, fiddle and guitar, and what appear to be all original songs ranging from “Yodelady” to “Happy Ever After” while passing through “Low On The Hog,” “Year Of The Dragon,” and eight other ditties. The music does not really fit the old-time or bluegrass genres, though it is informed by elements of traditional music.

The title of the CD is very descriptive. Most of these songs are about where Luedecke lives, his friends and family, and his take is, indeed, very eccentric and homespun and thus very personal. A key job of a reviewer is to give you enough information to decide whether you would be interested in the recording. If you’re open to original and unusual songs with excellent musical accompaniment, then Old Man Luedecke might be someone you want to check out. (True North Records, Griffin House, 23 Griffin St., P.O. Box 170, Waterdown, ON, Canada L0R 2H0, www.truenorthrecords.com.)SAG

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